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Conway Street security alert ends: 'INLA' pipe bombs and ammunition found in west Belfast house

Pipe bombs and ammunition, thought to be linked to the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), have been found at house in the Conway Street area of west Belfast.

Army technical officers examined a number of suspicious objects discovered during the search of the house and declared them to be pipe bomb-type devices.

All of the items have now been removed for further examination.

Conway Street, which was earlier closed due to the alert, has now reopened to traffic and evacuated residents allowed to return to their homes.

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Mullan said: "The search, which was part of an ongoing investigation into organised criminality associated to INLA by detectives from PSNI’s Reactive and Organised Crime Branch, uncovered 5 pipe bombs and a quantity of ammunition.

"These are for one purpose only - to kill and injure people. Today’s operation demonstrates our ongoing commitment to keep people safe in our communities.

"Information from the community is vital and I would continue to ask for the public to report any suspicious activity to police on 101 or if you wish to remain anonymous, through Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."

The UUP's Fred Rodgers said: "The news that Police have managed to recover five pipe bombs and a quantity of ammunition during an operation in the Conway Street area of west Belfast will be welcomed by everyone who cares about public safety and supports the rule of law.

"I understand that the Police are linking the find to the INLA. There is no place in our society for any group that seeks to impose its will on communities by the threat of, or use of force.

"Criminal gangs are causing misery to too many people in too many communities and it is essential that people give the Police every assistance by providing them with information so that the Police can root out these gangs and put them out of business."

The SDLP's Alex Attwood said the INLA represent a "serious threat to people's welfare".

He said: "Today's arms find is a welcome intervention against terror and criminality. It is the type of firm policing that is needed. We need it month in and month out, year in and year out.

"That is what I have been saying to the police. That is what gives people confidence. That is what will encourage people to further help the police in their efforts.

"The INLA represent a serious threat to the welfare of people and the community. All must face it down."

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