The Police Service of Northern Ireland said a “sizeable” viable explosive device was found outside a primary school in north Belfast on April 23.
The device was discovered near Holy Cross Boys’ Primary School in Ardoyne in the early hours of the morning by a passing police patrol.
Police are attending a security alert in the vicinity of Herbert St, Ardoyne. Cordons are in place & residents may be evacuated as a result.
— PSNI North Belfast (@PSNIBelfastN) April 23, 2017
— Belfast Telegraph (@BelTel) April 23, 2017
Mark Lindsay, chairman of the Police Federation of Northern Ireland which represents officers, said: “This appears to have been a deadly, anti-personnel-type weapon.”
Around 20 homes were evacuated during the security operation, according to Sinn Féin representative for the area, Gerry Kelly.
The school’s vice-principal Chris Donnelly said the device was left at the entrance to the school. Pupils are due to return to the school on Monday after their Easter break.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the device.
The dissident Irish republican paramilitary group known as the New IRA has claimed several gun and bomb attacks on police in Northern Ireland in recent months, including the January 22 gun attack at a petrol station near Holy Cross school that injured one police officer. The New IRA also claimed the March 21 roadside bomb attack on a police patrol in Strabane, and the February 23 bomb that exploded in the driveway of a PSNI officer’s home on after falling from his vehicle the previous day.