Police have recovered a so-called 'coffee jar bomb' following a security alert in west Belfast on Wednesday.
An area of the Springfield Road near New Barnsley Police Station was searched following a telephoned warning at about 2300 GMT on Tuesday.
Chief Superintendent Gary White said it was intended to harm his officers.
He said: "It is appalling that in this time of progress, these attempts are still being made on officers who are out there trying to make a difference."
SDLP West Belfast assembly member Alex Attwood said the device represented "an escalation of the current threat level".
"The Catholic Church made a very public and loud appeal on Monday through the media that the dissident threat required a full response from the community and they were right," he said.
"This incident confirms it - people must respond and help police."
The road was closed for a time but has since reopened.
Police have appealed for information.