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Dissidents blamed after north Belfast residents evacuated and Westlink closed over suspicious car

Residents in the North Queen Street area of Belfast were evacuated from their homes overnight after a suspicious car parked a security alert.

The Westlink was also closed between 9.40pm and 10.15pm on Saturday during the security information.

A PSNI spokesman said officers investigating dissident republican activity attended a suspicious vehicle in the Plunkett Court area of North Belfast on Saturday evening.

Residents have been allowed home and the car has been removed for further examination.

"A number of houses were evacuated from approximately 9pm and the North Queen Street Community Centre was made available for any residents that needed shelter," he said.

"A number of local roads were closed to traffic and part of the Westlink was closed between approximately 9.40pm and 10.15pm.

"ATO also attended the suspicious vehicle and carried out searches to ensure it was safe. Just after 2am the car was taken away for further examination and the scene was closed, allowing residents to return to their homes and roads to reopen to traffic."

Chief Superintendent Chris Noble said: “I would like to thank motorists and the local community for their support while we dealt with this situation. I understand the disruption that this caused to a lot of people and we appreciate the patience and understanding shown by residents as we focussed on ensuring their safety."

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