A Catholic police officer has been killed in Omagh, Northern Ireland after he was the victim of a car bomb that is believed to have been planted by Republican dissidents.

Ronan Kerr, 25, had been serving in the police for less than a year when he died.

Chief Constable of Northern Ireland, Matt Baggott, said, "Tragedy has returned to Omagh with the loss of Constable Ronan Kerr. We've lost one of our brave and courageous peacekeepers."

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. In recent years the planting of car bombs has become relatively commonplace in Northern Ireland, although usually they fail to detonate.

However bombs in 2008 and 2010 led to two police officers losing their legs.

Prime Minister David Cameron condemned yesterday's attack, "Those who carried out this wicked and cowardly crime will never succeed in dragging Northern Ireland back to a dark and bloody past."

The attack was also condemned by First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson of the Democratic Unionist Party and former IRA member and current Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein.