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Fresh appeal over murder attempt on police officer in east Belfast

image captionThe unexploded device was found under the officer's car in east Belfast

Detectives investigating the attempted murder of a police officer in east Belfast have issued a fresh appeal for information.

The police officer found a bomb under his car on the Upper Newtownards Road last Sunday.

Police have said they want to speak to three people, described as "late night revellers", who got taxis in Belfast city centre last weekend.

The taxis were ordered on Saturday and Sunday morning.

Police said they wanted to talk to two women who got into a taxi outside Thompsons Garage nightclub in Donegall Square East at about 02:45 GMT on Saturday, 29 December.

After the taxi took a man in the vehicle to Newtownards, the women were dropped off in the Clonduff estate at the top of the Castlereagh Road in east Belfast.

Police also want to talk to a man who got a taxi from Belfast city centre at about 02:30 GMT on Sunday 30 December and travelled to the Manse Road/Doagh Road area of Mossley in Newtownabbey.

They said the private hire taxis were not ordered from a depot but were "hailed by the revellers from the street".

Police have blamed dissident republican paramilitaries for the bomb attempt.

The officer who was targeted found the device during a routine check of his family car at about 14:00 GMT on Sunday, as he prepared to take his wife and two children out to lunch.

Army bomb disposal officers carried out controlled explosions and took the defused bomb away for further examination.

Police said it was "clearly intended to kill the police officer".

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