Bomb which fell from police officer’s car explodes in driveway

Dissident republicans blamed for placing bomb outside Derry policeman’s house

Dissident republicans have been blamed for placing a bomb outside a Derry policeman’s house that exploded as an army disposal robot was trying to make it safe.

No one was injured when the device detonated in the driveway of the officer’s home at Ardanlee in the Culmore area.

The bomb was lying on the driveway. It is suspected to have fallen off the policeman’s vehicle before or as he drove away from the house.

The neighbourhood is in a predominantly nationalist area of Derry. A security alert was triggered at about 9.30am on Wednesday when the device was discovered.


Supt Gordon McCalmont of the PSNI said: “We as a community are fortunate that we are not talking about a death or a serious injury. My colleague has had a very lucky escape. At this stage it’s our belief this is an attempt by the violent dissident republicans to kill one of my colleagues.”

He said the fact the device detonated as the robot approached it demonstrated how sensitive it was. “The risk that posed to children, to others members of the community is really concerning,” he said, appealing for witnesses to come forward.

“My colleague is someone who wakes up every day to go to his work, focused on keeping the community safe, preventing harm in the community, which is in sharp contrast to those who left a viable explosive device at the heart of our community.”

Northern Secretary James Brokenshire described the attack as despicable, and said those responsible intended to kill or cause serious injury. “Their murderous intent is in stark contrast to the focus of this police officer who went out this morning to serve the community.”


The Northern Ireland Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, called for the people who carried out such attacks to be ostracised.

“Once again we see police officers targeted for simply trying to protect the community,” a spokesman said. “The people who are intent on targeting and attempting to murder police officers have nothing to offer their community or society at large other than misery and destruction.”

Vice-chairwoman of Northern Ireland’s Policing Board Debbie Watters condemned those responsible. “I am grateful that the evil intent of those responsible for leaving this device did not succeed. This officer has had a very lucky escape, but such activity reinforces the continuing threat that exists for our police officers both on and off duty.”