Bomb Blows up Near British Spy Headquarters in Northern Ireland

Irish Republican Army dissidents detonated a bomb outside the British spy headquarters in Northern Ireland Monday, police said, just hours before rival Catholic and Protestant leaders were to elect a new justice minister in a long-sought step in peacemaking.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said IRA dissidents held a Belfast taxi driver at gunpoint in his home and used his cab to carry the bomb to the security walls of Palace Barracks, a former British Army base that houses the Northern Ireland branch office of domestic spy agency MI5, The Associated Press reports.

The blast took place at around 12: 24 am, just as the Catholic and Protestant leaders were set to elect a new justice minister in a step towards peace. A police spokesperson told an international news agency that the bomb was placed in a hijacked taxi.

"The taxi driver got out (of the car) and shouted 'It's a bomb, it's a bomb!' and we were evacuating the area when it exploded," the spokeswoman is quoted as saying.

However, there were no reports on loss of life or injuries. Experts say that the transfer of powers from to Belfast from London will continue to see disruptions of this sort from the Irish Republican Army dissidents, Oneindia says.

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