The PSNI stopping and searching a man in Ardoyne after a police officer was shot in the arm at a petrol station Credit:PA There are reports that 1 of our Officer’s has been injured in a terrorist shooting in Belfast.Thoughts are with him & his family #WeAreYou— PFNI (@PoliceFedforNI) January 22, 2017 He said it underlined the fragility of the peace.”It’s one reason why the threat level here remains classed ‘severe’ which means a terrorist attack is highly likely.”Officers already exercise great vigilance and I would appeal to them to remain at high alert.”The Crumlin Road has been closed while police investigate.The attack comes as Northern Ireland prepares for fresh elections after the collapse of powersharing.Former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness resigned in protest over a botched green energy scheme which is predicted to leave taxpayers millions out of pocket. Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton said: “This was a very concerted attack on our officers – a very concerted attempt to murder them.”Our main line of enquiry at the minute is violent dissident republicans.”One arrest has already been made.”Several shots were fired. The injured officer has been taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where he is undergoing surgery. Mr Hamilton said he was conscious and was doing as well as could be expected.”We are hopeful that he will make a full recovery but this is a deeply shocking event, something that will take him some time to recover from.”Mark Lindsay, chairman of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, said it was an appalling act.”This attack on the life of an officer is a stark reminder of the determination on the part of terrorists to murder and maim police officers.”They believe that by causing great grief to a family they are somehow advancing their warped and outdated plan. The wider community will be outraged by this attack on one of their police officers.”The police serve the entire community and wounding one individual is an attack on the entire community.” A police officer has been shot in north Belfast in what was described as a “terrorist” attack.He suffered injuries to the arm, which were said not to be life-threatening, in the drive-by attack near a petrol station. Police said on Sunday night that a man aged 36 had been arrested. Dissident republicans have attempted to kill members of the security forces in Northern Ireland in recent years.The Police Federation which represents rank and file officers said the shooting, which took place at around 7.30pm on the Crumlin Road, was a terrorist attack. Dissident republicans opposed to peace have killed police, prison officers and soldiers in the past.Democratic Unionist MP Nigel Dodds said it was a despicable act.Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire tweeted: “I am shocked and appalled at this evening’s cowardly shooting.”To attack officers who are going about their daily duty protecting the entire community is sickening.”Mr Dodds said it was a deeply disturbing incident which echoes back to the kind of terrorism people used to face on a daily basis.”These are scenes that we should all want to move away from in Northern Ireland. We must be mindful how a threat to the future of the political institutions can create a vacuum, which terrorists such as these will seek to fill.”We must all stand against those who wish to use threats, intimidation and violence to further their political ends.”It is vital we all stand against such activity and work to move Northern Ireland forward.” This attack on the life of an officer is a stark reminder of the determination on the part of terrorists to murder and maim police officersMark Lindsay, Police Federation for Northern Ireland Nationalist SDLP assembly member Nichola Mallon said those responsible were calculating criminals, intent on destabilising a community which continues to make strides toward reconciliation, who will be rejected by local people.She said: “This community has rejected the men of violence before and it will do so again. There will be no cover given to those who seek to destabilise our progress and bring mayhem back to our streets.”Senior Sinn Fein assembly member Gerry Kelly said those responsible were the same people who are attacking the local community.”They have absolutely nothing to offer society and need to call a halt to these activities immediately.”Democratic Unionist Nelson McCausland, who scrutinises the police as part of his role on the Policing Board, said it was a terrible reminder of the darkest days when such attacks were a regular occurrence.”This is reminiscent of what happened back in the 1970s and 1980s and sadly there are those around who want to drag us back to a violent past.”Within recent years there have been other attempts by republican terrorists to murder police officers on the Crumlin Road but fortunately they were unsuccessful.”It is also a stark reminder that those who threaten our political institutions can create a vacuum, which these extremists and terrorists will try to fill.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? 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