Police officer escapes death after "crude" homemade bomb is thrown into his home in Northern Ireland

Police officer escapes death after 'crude' homemade bomb is thrown into his home in Northern IrelandThe officer was at the home in Omagh when the device was hurled insideBut his life was saved after it failed to explodeIt happened close to where an off-duty police officer fired shots last night

By
Anthony Bond

PUBLISHED:

19:58 GMT, 26 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:52 GMT, 26 January 2013

A bomb has been thrown into the home of a police officer in Northern Ireland, it has emerged.

The officer was inside the home in the Coolnagard area of Omagh when the 'crude viable explosive device' was hurled inside.

However, he narrowly escaped death after it failed to explode.

Worrying: A homemade bomb was found close to where an off duty police officer fired shots, the Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed tonight

Worrying: A homemade bomb was found close to where an off duty police officer fired shots, the Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed tonight

Army bomb squad officers were called to the scene and later confirmed that a bomb had been discovered.

The Northern Ireland Police Federation tweeted: 'PSNI officer escapes
death as bomb hurled into his home in Omagh fails to explode. Total
disregard for both he and his family. Cowards!'

Detectives discovered the device close to the scene of an incident last night when an off duty police officer fired shots.

No one was injured and, in line with normal protocol the Police Ombudsman was informed that a weapon was discharged.

A number of homes in the housing development on the outskirts of the Co Tyrone town had to be evacuated during the bomb alert today.

Anger: The Police Federation of Northern Ireland tweeted this message today

Anger: The Police Federation of Northern Ireland tweeted this message today

Army technical experts spent several hours examining the object and later described it as crude but viable.

Sinn Fein's Declan McAleer said he was deeply concerned. The West Tyrone MLA visited the scene this afternoon.

He said: 'I spoke to several of the
evacuated residents and they are very concerned that such a sinister
incident involving the discharge of a firearm and a suspicious device
has taken place in their community.

'I am therefore relieved that no one has been hurt or injured in this incident.

Horror: The bomb was found in an area of Omagh, which was rocked with a car bomb in 1998, killing 29 people

Horror: The bomb was found in an area of Omagh, which was rocked with a car bomb in 1998, killing 29 people

'Coolnagard is a very quiet residential area of the town where people from all sections of the community live side by side and where community relations are very good.

'The investigation is still ongoing so I await further details from the PSNI as to the exact nature of the events which unfolded here on Friday night.'

DUP MLA Thomas Buchanan described it as a worrying time for the PSNI officer especially as the threat from dissident republican terrorists was severe.

A spokeswoman for the PSNI has appealed for anyone who noticed suspicious activity in the Coolnagard area over the past couple of months to come forward.