Belfast: A car bomb exploded on Sunday near the headquarters of Britain's MI5 domestic security services in Northern Ireland, police said, adding that there were no reported injuries.
The blast occurred minutes after the devolved power-sharing administration in Belfast resumed control over policing and justice in the province after almost 40 years, in a major step in the peace process here.
"A device has exploded in a vehicle at the rear of Palace Barracks in Holywood," a police spokeswoman said. The barracks is a former British Army complex just outside Belfast which now houses MI5.
The explosion occurred shortly after midnight, at about 2324 GMT yesterday, she said, adding: "There are no reports of any serious injuries at this stage."
The security services later confirmed the bomb was in a hijacked taxi, which was driven to the rear of the barracks. The driver then jumped from the car, shouting: "It's a bomb."
Local journalist Brian Rowan said the explosion "shook my front door".
"It appears that the seat of the explosion was on the opposite side of the complex in a layby on Old Holywood Road. The security services have sealed off a stretch of the road covering several miles," he said.
Hundreds of people are employed in the MI5 complex monitoring domestic security across the British-ruled province.
First Published: Monday, April 12, 2010, 09:35