THE POLICE Service of Northern Ireland are conducting a thorough investigation after a grenade was thrown at officers in Belfast last night.
In what is being described as "undoubtedly an attempt to kill or injure police officers", a grenade was thrown at a police Land Rover during a routine patrol in the Falls Road area of west Belfast at approximately 2am.
Chief Superintendant Jonathan Roberts described the attack, saying the vehicle "was struck by an object as it was driving along Milltown Row.
"A loud bang was then heard and the Land Rover made its way to a place of safety.
“This was a undoubtedly an attempt to kill or injure police officers who were out on duty in the early hours of the morning working to keep the public safe. This despicable act must be condemned by all."
While there were no injuries to the officers within the vehicle, and while the vehicle itself did not sustain any significant damage, a police operation to ensure safety in the area was launched after the item thrown was confirmed to be a grenade.
“A police operation was immediately implemented to ensure the safety of everyone in the area and that operation is ongoing at present," Chief Superintendant Roberts continued.
"The remnants of a suspected grenade have been recovered and taken away for forensic testing. Further searches are being conducted this morning to ensure there are no other devices present which could endanger members of the public."
The Chief Superintendent confirmed that a thorough investigation is underway, and encouraged anyone with any information, or who may have noticed suspicious activity in the area, to contact detectives using contact number 101 quoting reeference number 79 04/12/19.
Anyone who wishes to come forward anonymously can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.