Derry authorities have said that the bomb, discovered under a car at the family home of a Catholic police officer, had been lit.
Currently the chief suspects in this attack, which is seen as the attempted murder of parents of a police officer, is the Real IRA. The bomb was discovered on Sunday night in a nationalist housing estate in Derry.
Superintendent Chris Yates told the Evening Standard, “The device had been initiated; it had the fuse lit on it but it failed to fully explode. We are treating it as a terrorist investigation and as attempted murder because anyone next to this when it exploded would have been seriously injured and possibly killed."
This is the second time this elderly couple has been targeted, however, they intend on staying in their home.
Yates said the police officer in question is showing great resolve. He said, “He has no intention of changing his chosen profession."
Early this month, on 9th April, the Real IRA had pledged to maintain their campaign of violent attacks on police and other authorities in Northern Ireland.
Yates said, “This is the equivalent of a military hand grenade."
He said the authorities would leave no stone unturned and appealed to the public for information.
The couple who were attacked, at Drumleck Drive, Shantallow, are pensioners. In 2009 their home was attacked using a similar device.
Dissident republicans have a history of targeting the police. Last April, new constable Ronan Kerr was killed when a device exploded under his car in Omagh, County Tyrone.
Derry has been named the UK Capital of Culture for 2013. Last October the office which was established to organize these cultural events was targeted.
The threat level in the area remains at high levels, according to minister and senior police.
Local politicians have condemned the attack.
Foyle MP Mark Durkan told the Derry Journal that the attack “was carried out with malice and all the worst possible fallout with calculation and forethought from those involved.”
Tony Hassan, a Sinn Fein councilor said, “I call on those responsible to explain to our community just exactly what they hope to achieve by these futile actions. Your total and callous disregard for the community you are a part of defies logic.”
Monsignor Eamon Martin, Diocesan Administrator, said, “The bomb placed outside the home of relatives of a PSNI officer demonstrates a reckless disregard for the sanctity of human life. The bomb endangered the lives of people living in the house and many in the surrounding area.
“I reiterate the right of men and women to choose to build up our community through serving as police officers. Those who are engaged in serving and protecting the public are themselves deserving of the support of the community.”
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