IRA-style booby trap bomb wounds prison officer in Belfast

Police say a Northern Ireland prison officer has been wounded by an IRA-style booby trap bomb that partly detonated under his van.

The 52-year-old man was hospitalized in stable condition following Friday's explosion in east Belfast.

No group claimed responsibility. Police and politicians blamed IRA die-hards opposed to Northern Ireland's 1998 peace accord and Catholic-Protestant government.

For decades, Irish Republican Army factions have used bombs attached to a vehicle's undercarriage to target politicians, judges and off-duty police, soldiers and prison officers. Such bombs typically explode under the driver's seat when the vehicle travels uphill or downhill.

IRA splinter groups opposed to peacemaking remain active in Belfast. In November, a police car was riddled with bullets but officers escaped injury. In October, an under-car bomb dropped harmlessly off a soldier's vehicle.