Dissident republicans lured Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) bomb disposal experts into an ambush in County Down on Saturday night.
The police officers were investigating reports that a suspicious device was placed on the Dublin to Belfast railway line near Newry.
As the police officers approached the object on the line dissident republicans opened fire on them.
The gun attack was one of several terrorist incidents over the course of the weekend.
Dissident republicans successfully disrupted the Dublin to Belfast railway line over the weekend through a series of bomb threats, which caused major disruption to thousands of rugby fans that were travelling to the Irish six nations rugby game in Dublin.
Republicans were also blamed for causing widespread traffic disruption in Belfast and Derry city by issuing bomb threats in these areas.
Newry's PSNI Chief Supt Alisdair Robinson said, "This attack was a cowardly attempt to kill police officers in the course of their duty as they investigated a suspicious object that may have the potential to kill or injure not only police but members of the local community."
Robinson added, "The people who carry out these senseless acts show a total disregard for their fellow man, and are not part of the society within which the majority of people of Northern Ireland wish to live.”
Robinson also called on the local communities in Northern Ireland to help the police "effectively alienate those who continue to be involved in terrorism and criminality".
Robinson also called on dissident republicans to abandon political violence and enter democracy.
"If they have a political agenda then they should enter into the democratic process as others have done,”
It is suspected that the Real IRA was behind the attacks.
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