British army experts have dismantled a suspected booby-trap bomb hidden underneath an off-duty British soldier's car in Northern Ireland.

No group claimed responsibility for Friday's security alert in the town of Portadown. Police and politicians blamed Irish Republican Army die-hards opposed to Northern Ireland's peace process.

A remote-controlled bomb disposal robot ripped apart the suspected bomb, which was attached to the car under the driver's seat. The outlawed IRA has used such sophisticated homemade devices to kill or maim scores of off-duty soldiers and police. They are designed to detonate when the driver's car drives up or down a slope.

Most IRA members renounced violence and disarmed in 2005 so that the IRA-linked Sinn Fein party could share power with the British Protestant majority in a unity government.