Car bomb explodes near MI5 regional headquarters

A bomb-laden car went off near regional headquarters of United Kingdom’s counter-terrorism and security agency MI5 in Northern Ireland on Monday. Reportedly, the attack occurred as the policing and justice powers were transferred from London to Belfast. “A device has exploded in a vehicle at the rear of Palace Barracks in Old Holywood Road. There are no reports of any serious injuries at this stage,” said a police spokeswoman. An elderly person was treated for minor injuries from the blast.

Meanwhile, the security services later declared that the explosive device was planted in a hijacked taxi and that three armed men had held the driver hostage for about two hours before launching the attack. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, however police are pointing fingers on the dissident paramilitary group Irish Republican Army (IRA). The IRA is blamed for sporadic violent attacks in the region and is responsible for the killing of two soldiers and a policeman last year.