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.