Soldier targeted in NI bomb attack not based in North

Sat, Jan 7, 2012, 00:00

A BOMB left in a soldier’s car in Belfast by dissident republicans was “designed to kill”, authorities have said.

Republican group Óglaigh na hÉireann have claimed responsibility for the device, which was discovered by the soldier in the car parked outside his girlfriend’s house in the nationalist Ligoniel area of north Belfast on Thursday.

It is understood the bomb, which had a trip wire attached to a seat belt, was planted when the soldier left the Vauxhall Astra unlocked outside the house on Wednesday night. It was discovered by the man on Thursday as he was cleaning his car before going to pick a child up from school.

The soldier is from Scotland and not based in Northern Ireland but had been visiting his girlfriend for several weeks.

A statement from the group said its Belfast brigade claimed responsibility for the bomb.

Chief Insp Andy Freeburn said if the bomb had detonated, the solider could have been killed.

“The initial assessment we received from the army technical officers was that, if it had detonated as intended, it would have killed the occupants in the vehicle and anybody surrounding the vehicle could have been killed or seriously injured.”