A bomb was discovered underneath the car of a Northern Ireland police officer at a golf course in Belfast on Saturday.
According to authorities, police and army bomb disposal experts were called to the scene at Shandon Park Golf Club after the officer noticed the suspicious object on his car. The bomb was described as a “viable improvised explosive device.”
“It was clearly intended to kill the police officer,” the head of the Terrorism Investigation Unit, Det. Supt. Sean Wright told BBC.com. “It is very fortunate that this device was detected before it exploded and that no one was killed or seriously injured.
“In placing such a device, terrorists have also put the officer’s family, neighbors and members of the public at serious risk.”
— BBC News NI (@BBCNewsNI) June 1, 2019
After noticing the bomb, the golf course was evacuated. According to police, it was a busy day at the club with at least 70 people playing and 50 more inside the clubhouse.
PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton condemned the attempted bombing publicly.
I utterly condemn the attempted murder of one my officers in Belfast today. My thoughts are with the officer and their family. Those who carried out this despicable attack have nothing to offer Northern Ireland but a return to the pain and suffering of the past.
— George Hamilton (@ChiefConPSNI) June 1, 2019
Club member Alan Paterson described the scene.
“(The officier) was leaving the course and he actually noticed something under the car and immediately informed the police and the members in the clubhouse at that time,” Paterson said.”I was actually in the clubhouse at the time when the person came in to tell us that there was a possible device.
“Within several minutes the police arrived and identified the object and said that they felt it was viable and that they should immediately evacuate the clubhouse and surrounding area, and also get everybody else off the golf course.
“We are delighted that if it was a viable device the person concerned was not injured or worse, so that is a big plus for everybody.
“We are a very mixed club. It is east Belfast, yes, but it is a mixed club and this sort of thing should not happen. It just should not happen.”
The Open Championship returns to Northern Ireland next month, 60 miles away from Shandon Park Golf Club at Royal Portrush.