Dissident republicans may have planted a nail bomb found in County Londonderry at the weekend, police have said.
The device, complete with command wire, was found in the William Street area of Bellaghy on Sunday.
It was made safe by the Army and is currently being examined by forensic scientists.
A senior police officer said it was a "lethal and indiscriminate" device which was ready for use and could have "caused death or serious injury".
Chief Inspector Paul Douglas described the discovery of the bomb as a "sinister" development.
"In recent months we have been making huge efforts to prevent sectarianism and sectarian attacks in the district," he said.
"And to now find such a lethal and indiscriminate device concealed in a residential area of Bellaghy is not only very sinister but is something that everyone in the village should be concerned about.
"Those who manufactured the bomb and who planned to carry out an attack on the people of Bellaghy deserve to face the full rigours of the law."
A number of homes were evacuated during the alert, as the security forces carried out searches in the area.
Mr Douglas urged anyone with any information about the incident to contact the police.
Police were attacked with stones as roads were re-opened after the alert.