Filipino family narrowly survives Belfast explosion

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BELFAST, United Kingdom: Northern Ireland’s police officers were warned to be extra-vigilant in the run-up to Saint Patrick’s Day after they were targeted in a bomb attack that narrowly avoided killing a passing Filipino family.

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The bomb was left in the City Cemetery in west Belfast, by the Irish Republican community’s Falls Road stronghold, and detonated near a police vehicle patrol late Friday using a command wire.

Though targeting four officers in their vehicle, the blast damaged the car of a Filipino family, peppering it with shrapnel.

The one adult and three children aged 16, 13 and 11 inside were all badly shaken and treated for shock.

A police spokeswoman said Saturday: “This was not only a deliberate attempt to kill police officers but was an attack on the community of west Belfast, and it is only through good fortune that no-one, either police or civilian was seriously injured or killed.”

It was initially thought the device was thrown at the police vehicle, but further investigation showed it was detonated by a command wire, blowing masonry out of the cemetery wall.

The attack came just hours after a bomb was found nearby, having fallen off a vehicle and failed to explode.

AFP

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