Page last updated at 06:53 GMT, Thursday, 3 December 2009

Belfast police board second dissident attack 'likely'

Police forensic officer at the scene of the attempted bombing of the Policing Board headquarters in Belfast
The car bomb only partially exploded

Dissident republicans who tried to blow up the offices of the Northern Ireland Policing Board are likely to target the building again, police have warned.

Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris said intelligence suggested another attack was a "strong possibility".

Mr Harris told members and staff of the police oversight body they were at "moderate" risk.

Last month, a 440lb car bomb was abandoned outside the Clarendon dock office. It failed to fully detonate.

Security was tight at the building on Thursday, as senior officers briefed members at the first meeting since the bomb plot.

As guards manned newly-erected steel barriers outside, Mr Harris indicated that dissident republicans would try to strike again.

"A vehicle-borne improvised explosive device was left at this building - it was a device consisting of 200kg of home made explosives that failed to fully detonate," he said.

"Subsequent to that, staff or members of the Policing Board are assessed to be at moderate threat but this building itself is defined as being at substantial threat, which is an attack is a strong possibility.

"That's the current situation at this time."

The board was set up as part of peace process reforms designed to make the police more accountable.

As well as the attempted bombing sectarian clashes at Belfast's Christmas lights switch-on were on the board's agenda.

Rival groups fought at the festive switch-on last month and an ambulance crew was attacked during the trouble.

Other questions focussed on the Historical Enquiries Team, resourcing and the police call management system.

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