'Explosive device' thrown at police patrol in Belfast


A suspected explosive device has been thrown at a police patrol in east Belfast.

The object, which did not detonate, was hurled at officers in the republican Short Strand area on Friday night.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Chief Constable George Hamilton branded the incident an "act of madness".

He tweeted: "Device thrown at local police in Short Strand last night was an act of madness that could have killed or injured police or local residents."

The finger of suspicion will again fall on dissident republicans opposed to the peace process.

A number of residents were evacuated from their homes amid the security alert that followed the suspected attack.

The incident on Friday came the day after a suspected undercar booby trap bomb was found on a street in north Belfast.

The viable explosive device was apparently kicked by a young boy while it lay on the ground in Linden Gardens, off the Cliftonville Road.

Detectives are investigating whether the bomb had fallen off a car belonging to someone with a connection to the armed forces. Dissidents were again blamed for that incident.