IRELAND: Grenade Thrown at Belfast Police Car

Photo: Belfast police officer stands next to an armored vehicle

By Mike Talavera

Last week, a police car on routine nighttime patrol in West Belfast was struck by an explosive object in what authorities have referred to as “an attempt to kill or injure police officers.” The attack is the latest in a series of armed actions against British targets in Northern Ireland.

Although no police were killed, the action provoked a sweeping response by the state, which conducted searches of the area into the morning. All that was found were the remains of a grenade, which was taken away for forensic testing.

This year has witnessed a resurgence in the Irish national liberation struggle. In January, a hijacked delivery van was detonated in front of a courthouse in Northern Ireland to commemorate 100 years of anti-imperialist violence against the occupying forces of United Kingdom. In August, Molotov cocktails and other projectiles were hurled at the old city walls of Derry in Northern Ireland in an homage to the protracted armed struggle known as the Troubles, specifically the Battle of the Bogside.

The latest iteration of the Brexit deal, which would separate the UK from the European Union, proposes stronger borders between Ireland and the UK. Last year, former US Secretary of State John Kerry and other officials warned that such a measure could result in a return to open warfare in Northern Ireland.