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Up to eight shots fired at police officers in 'attempted murder'

Two police officers escaped unhurt after up to eight shots were fired in Northern Ireland.

The attack happened in West Belfast on Thursday.
The attack happened in West Belfast on Thursday.

Two police officers escaped unhurt after up to eight shots were fired at their vehicle in Northern Ireland.

Police are treating the gun attack in West Belfast on Thursday as attempted murder.

Several bullets hit the passenger side of the car while it was parked in the Rossnareen Avenue area of Andersonstown shortly before 7pm.

Chief Superintendent Nigel Grimshaw, from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), said the officers were "badly shaken" but not injured.

"This was a mindless and reckless attempt to kill police officers who were carrying out routine duties as part of an investigation into serious crime," said Chief Supt Grimshaw. "Thankfully it failed."

Last week a member of the travelling community was critically injured after he was shot in the head in the same area.

The smashed window of the vehicle from last week's incident in the same area
The smashed window of the vehicle from last week's incident in the same area

Chief Supt Grimshaw said the attack would not stop officers carrying out their daily duties.

He said: "This will not deter these officers or their colleague in providing a much-needed and increasingly valued police service in West Belfast.

"Those who believe that trying to kill officers will achieve anything are deluded."

The attack was condemned by Sinn Fein MLA Alex Maskey, who said it was fortunate there were no fatalities.

He said: "Those responsible have nothing to offer the community, they do not speak for local people and need to end these reckless and futile actions immediately. We will not allow them to drag us back to the past."

Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson also condemned the attack.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the PSNI on 101.

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