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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 29 January, 2020

Prison officer hospitalised after car bomb explosion in Belfast

The incident has been condemned as “deplorable”.

Updated 2.20pm

Device detonation in Belfast The van (centre, top) under which a bomb exploded this morning. Source: Lesley-Anne McKeown/PA

A PRISON OFFICER has been injured after a car bomb exploded in east Belfast this morning.

The 52-year-old man, who is a serving prison officer, is currently being treated at hospital. He is in a stable condition.

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin appealed for information following the attack.

Martin said the prison officer’s injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

This could have been a fatal attack and we condemn it in the utmost circumstances.

“Someone will have prepared this bomb, someone will have transported this bomb, and someone will have planted this bomb.”

The incident, in the Woodstock Road area, was first reported to police at 7.10am.

‘A terrible act’

Bishop of Down Harold Miller condemned the attack as a “deplorable act on an individual who is serving the community”.

I join with others in condemning this terrible act and I also wish the victim well in his recovery – he and his family are in our prayers

Archdeacon David McClay also said local people in the area were “appalled” by the attack on the prison officer.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, said it was a “callous and cowardly incident”.

A number of houses in the surrounding were removed to an emergency evacuation centre at the Salvation Army.

- with reporting by Órla Ryan

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