A PSNI convoy in north Belfast came under fire on Thursday night with 10 to 15 shots aimed at a night-time patrol along the Crumlin Road. No injuries were reported.
The shots were fired from a point near Brompton Park. A burned out car was later found nearby.
The PSNI evacuated 40 homes in the area in apparent reprisal for what they said had been a serious attempt to kill members of the force using a semi-automatic rifle.
The attack was condemned by the main political parties. Hardline unionist Nigel Dodds said it appeared “to be the work of dissident republicans”.
Sinn Fein Assembly member Gerry Kelly described the shooting as “reckless”.
“Whoever was behind this attack need to come forward to this community and explain their actions. To date they have failed to do so and act solely on their own behalf,” he said.
The attack comes amid a sharp increase in British Crown force activity in the same area. Last week saw a series of violent raids and arrests involving both the PSNI and the British Army in Ardoyne.
PSNI Chief Matt Baggott recently warned of a ‘surge’ by republican armed groups after a car bomb partially detonated near the PSNI’s Musgrave St. station in Belfast city centre.
A four-day alert near the village of Crossmaglen in south Armagh week ended with a British Army bomb disposal unit declared a suspicious object to have been an “elaborate hoax”. The object, understood to have been a gas cylinder, had been left at the north/south electricity inter-connector.