Northern Ireland's police force says a firebomb has been safely defused outside an apartment block in a Catholic district of Belfast.

No paramilitary group claimed responsibility for the bomb found Tuesday morning in the Cliftonville district of north Belfast. British Army experts using a remote-controled robot dismantled the small incendiary device.

Extremists on both sides of Northern Ireland's divide still use these homemade weapons despite the prevailing cease-fires by major paramilitary groups.

Irish Republican Army splinter groups based in Catholic districts most commonly use firebombs to damage businesses and Protestant community halls. Protestant extremists target Catholic homes and churches.