Dublin: Northern Ireland police say British Army experts have defused a pipe bomb near a Catholic elementary school in Belfast.
St Teresa`s Primary School in west Belfast was closed Tuesday during the security operation.
Police said they found the bomb near the scene of an overnight fire that destroyed a small shop across the street from the school.
No group claimed responsibility. Police said they were keeping an open mind as to which Northern Ireland paramilitary faction planted the bomb.
Extremists in the country`s Protestant majority have left pipe bombs near Catholic schools many times in the past.
Irish Republican Army dissidents based in Catholic areas also sometimes stage crimes, such as arson attacks, in the hope of luring police into an ambush.