Newtownabbey pipe bomb was designed to kill police says officer

Army expert examines device
Image caption An Army bomb expert examines the device

Police have said a pipe bomb found during a security alert in County Antrim was designed to kill police officers.

Police received a call around 22:00 BST on Wednesday to say a device had been thrown at a patrol in Mill Road, Newtownabbey.

A number of homes were evacuated after midnight. Two suspicious objects were found during a search.

One of the objects was a hoax while the second was a viable device.

Residents were allowed to return to their homes just before 05:00 BST on Thursday.

Ch Insp Stephen Reid, area commander of Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus said: "This device was clearly designed to kill police officers and we are very fortunate no-one was killed or injured. Had it exploded it could have killed or maimed anyone close by, police officers or local people alike.

"Those responsible showed total disregard for the local community and put the lives of local people in the area at risk.

"I would like to thank to local residents for their patience and support throughout this operation and I want to reassure them that we will not be deterred by this attack."