Updated 8.47pm - Added parliamentary statements

Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela today expressed outrage following a car bomb at the heart of one of the most important traffic junctions.

Speaking less than two hours after the bomb in Msida seriously injured a man and slightly wounded two others, the minister said he was outraged.

"We're shocked especially because the incident took place in a very busy road, this posed a risk to bystanders."

READ: Car bomb goes off at busy Msida junction

He said the Cabinet will tomorrow be discussing such incidents with a view to beef up police resources. The government will also be considering tougher penalties for the perpetrators of such incidents, he added.

Police are in crisis - Simon Busuttil

Speaking in parliament this evening, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said that the government was either not fighting criminality seriously or else it was not managing to control it.

Dr Busuttil said that the police corps was in the throes of a crisis, led by a commissioner with political affiliations and with its best and brightest seeking jobs elsewhere.

He asked the government to heed the Opposition’s suggestion that the Commissioner of Police be appointed by a two-thirds majority of the House.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat acknowledged that the situation was not normal, but said the Opposition was playing dirty in trying to politicise the issue. Never, said Dr Muscat, had a Labour opposition politicised situations of organised crime.

Dr Abela said that the government was fighting criminality with all the means at its disposal. During the past four years, 13 cases of serious crime out of 23 had been solved, he said, adding that a murder case had been “solved” within 24 hours.

The minister said the government had complete faith in the police corps and dismissed the Opposition’s calls for a commissioner appointed by a two-thirds parliamentary majority, saying even police unions were opposed to it.

The PN’s calls for greater parliamentary scrutiny of the police were addressed in a draft police bill which had already been given a second reading, he said.

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