Rocket fired at RUC in Belfast flashpoint area


THE IRA is believed to have been responsible for a rocket attack on an RUC Land Rover near a sectarian flashpoint in north Belfast last night.

The handheld rocket, known as a propelled rocket improvised grenade (PRIG), was fired at the police vehicle between the Catholic Newington and Protestant Tigers Bay areas shortly before midnight.

The rocket missed the vehicle and hit a wall near the junction of Limestone Road and Halliday's Street. No one was reported injured in the attack.

The car used by the attackers was found burning in the Catholic New Lodge Road area of Belfast a short time later.

The attack comes just two days after the British Prime Minister, Mr Blair, published terms for Sinn Fein's entry into inclusive talks in Northern Ireland within a six week deadline of an IRA ceasefire, with the removal of the decommissioning precondition for entry into talks.

It also comes at a time of rising sectarian tension in the North with the approach of another period of confrontation over Orange parades.

The location of the attack, in an area where there have been frequent sectarian clashes, will almost certainly be seen as deliberately provocative.

Earlier this year several Catholic families were intimidated from their homes at almost exactly the same point on the Limestone Road where the attack took place.

Earlier this week the RUC foiled another IRA attack when its officers raided a house at Dunmurry, west Belfast, and recovered two loaded assault rifles.