Belfast Telegraph

Beer keg near Crossmaglen north-south electricity interconnector leads to bomb alert

Alert likely to continue overnight into Friday

BY CLAIRE GRAHAM AND CLAIRE WILLIAMSON

A beer keg believed to have been found attached to the north-south electricity interconnector sparked a major security alert.

The suspect device was abandoned at an electricity pylon in south Armagh. An Army bomb squad was sent to the scene at the Dundalk Road, Crossmaglen.

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.

The PSNI issued a warning to people in the area not to approach any suspicious looking objects but to contact them immediately.

However, nothing untoward was found.

But on Wednesday evening it is understood that a beer keg was found attached to an electricity pylon and a police helicopter flew over the scene.

The Dundalk Road between the Foxfield Road and the border was closed during the lengthy alert, which was still continuing on Thursday evening.

A number of homes were evacuated.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster condemned the alert and said she had been reassured that the general public would not see any disruption to their electricity service as a result.

"A previous generation wasted precious lives trying to advance a political goal through such tactics. They failed. This further attempt will also fail," she said.

"These terrorists can only be put out of business if the community gives information to the police and provide zero cover for anyone involved such hate-filled terror."

Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kennedy said: "Those who are trying to kill innocent people with a bomb attack in Belfast and heighten tensions with bomb alerts in other areas offer nothing, but a corrupt ideology.

"They might copy the tactics of the Provisional IRA, but like them, they will still not achieve a united Ireland," he added.

A PSNI spokesman said the alert was likely to continue overnight, into Friday.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph