Police investigate explosion in Belfast, N. Ireland

Bomb disposal experts examine a car Friday after a blast beneath it in east Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Authorities in Northern Ireland said Friday they were investigating an explosion in east Belfast that injured one woman.

Some politicians blamed the explosion on terrorists. Police said they responded to the scene in the Kingsdale Park area of Belfast, where a 38-year-old woman was injured and a vehicle was damaged. She was taken to a hospital with minor injuries and has since been discharged, the police service of Northern Ireland said. She was not identified. The region was affected by 30 years of sectarian violence that left about 3,600 dead before the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Ulster Unionist Party leader Sir Reg Empey called the explosion a “despicable assault on our entire community.” “Those who carried out this evil act are intent on forcing our community back into the dark years. They are driven by an ideology of violence and sectarian hatred,” he said in a written statement.

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The Social Democratic Labour Party’s deputy leader, Alasdair McDonnell, said he condemned “this stupid attack.” “Any attack of this nature, or any violence, cannot be justified, even by the warped standards the perpetrators adopt,” he said in a written statement. In March, the Continuity IRA, a republican splinter group that does not accept the Good Friday Agreement, claimed responsibility for killing a policeman, while the Real IRA, another splinter group, claimed responsibility for killing two British soldiers, British media reported. The militant groups want the province to leave the United Kingdom and become part of Ireland.