Belfast Telegraph

100 homes evacuated in west Belfast security alert

BY CLAIRE WILLIAMSON

Around 100 people were evacuated from their homes during a security alert last night involving an abandoned suspect vehicle in west Belfast.

Army bomb disposal experts were tasked to the scene in the St Mary's Gardens area of Beechmount following the discovery.

A nearby community centre was opened for residents.

Elsewhere, a major security alert lasting nearly three days sparked fears for isolated livestock as rural residents cannot return to their homes.

At the centre of the alert in south Armagh is a beer keg attached to the north-south electricity interconnector at the Dundalk Road, Crossmaglen.

The Army bomb squad was sent to the scene where the suspect device was abandoned beside a pylon.

The alarm was first raised on Tuesday when police received a report that a device had been left in the border village.

It is understood the person who made the telephone call warning used a recognised codeword.

A PSNI spokesman said the police operation was likely to continue overnight and thanked the local community for their patience.

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