A bomb discovered in Londonderry was an attempt by dissident republican group the New IRA to murder police officers, police have said.

The bomb was found after up to 80 police officers took part in a security search  targeting the New IRA on Monday.

Fifteen families had to leave their homes after the discovery of the device in Creggan Heights, but they have since returned home after it was made safe.

Police were attacked with petrol bombs and missiles as they carried out searches targeting dissident republicans in Londonderry.

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Young people engaged in the disorder in Derry's Creggan estate sustained burn injuries during the violence on Monday night, the PSNI said.

Police said the bomb "would have killed or maimed anyone near it".

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said the command wire initiated improvised explosive device was discovered in a parked vehicle.

It was made safe by Army bomb disposal experts.

Assistant chief constable Hamilton said:  "We assess that this device was to be used against a police patrol in the Creggan area of the city. It is our assessment that the New IRA is responsible for this bomb. The bomb would have killed or maimed anyone near it when it detonated.

"Whilst it is the clear intention of the New IRA to murder community police officers trying to keep the community in Derry/Londonderry safe, it is also very clear that NIRA have a total disregard for the lives of everyone living in Creggan. "

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He added: "By bringing a viable bomb into the community they have again proved that have no regard for the lives of anyone living in Creggan.

"Once again they exploited some of the young people in the community to attack police and have brought disruption and misery to families."

Police are to remain at the scene for some time yet to carry out further inquiries in what was described as a full terrorist investigation.

The police searches were launched after a dissident republican mortar bomb was recovered in Strabane, Co Tyrone on Saturday.

The mortar, which was positioned close to a family home, was aimed at the town's police station.

It was the seventh attempted murder bid against the security forces in Northern Ireland this year.

Journalist Lyra McKee, 29, was murdered by the New IRA in the same Creggan Heights area in April as she observed dissident rioting.