Page last updated at 06:07 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 07:07 UK

Officer hurt by booby-trap bomb

Map of Northern Ireland

An off-duty police officer has been injured by a booby-trap car bomb in County Tyrone.

The explosion happened at Drumnaby Road in Spamount village, outside Castlederg at about 2130 BST on Monday.

The officer, a Catholic, suffered serious leg injuries, however, they are not thought to be life-threatening.

He was rescued by a member of the public who dragged him from the car wreckage. Dissident republicans are being blamed for the attack.

The policeman, who is not stationed in the area, is understood to have been visiting someone.

Councillor Derek Hussey, who went to the scene, said the quick thinking of the member of the public saved the man's life.

"One of the first on the scene, a civilian, is understood to have opened the car door and taken the occupant out of the car," the UUP representative said.

Damaged car
Forensic teams are studying the damaged car

The former MLA praised "the actions and the courage of that particular individual".

Secretary of State Shaun Woodward has condemned the attack.

"The contrast between the PSNI officer, dedicated to serving the community, and those with no politics, no support and no principles, who carried this cowardly attack could not be clearer," he said.

"As Northern Ireland moves towards a new and better future, there remains a tiny minority of contemptible, criminal elements who have been rejected by the people, north and south.

"They will not be allowed to stand in the way of progress."

The police have been warning for some time that dissident groups have been trying to increase their activities and that they were actively targeting police officers.

In November, the Real IRA shot two officers in Londonderry and Dungannon, and in February police mounted a huge security operation across Northern Ireland because of fears that dissidents were planning another shooting or bombing.

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