BELFAST, Northern Ireland — A police hero spotted a bomb-laden suitcase outside a pub early Sunday, carried it away from a neighborhood populated by elderly people and threw it into a field minutes before it exploded.
"The officer concluded the area wouldn't be evacuated in time, so regardless of his own safety he carried it some 80 yards to a field," a police spokesman said. "His action undoubtedly saved lives and prevented serious injuries."
Police said they received a telephoned warning that a bomb was placed in a suitcase outside a Protestant-owned pub that closed earlier in Downpatrick, 15 miles east of Belfast, early Sunday.
The officer, who remains unidentified, "put his life at risk" to carry the bomb to a site away from the homes of both Protestants and Roman Catholics, the spokesman said.
About 15 minutes later, the 40-pound bomb exploded, shattering dozens of windows in nearby homes but causing no injuries.