Belfast Telegraph

North Belfast security alert 'elaborate hoax'

By Claire Williamson

A security alert sparked in north Belfast has been declared an elaborate hoax.

Police were attendance at a security alert in the Oldpark Road area following the discovery of a suspicious object.

The Oldpark Road is closed at its junction with the Cliftonville Road.

Police said a suspicious object examined by Army Bomb Experts has been declared an elaborate hoax.

It was one of two alerts sparked this morning as De La Salle College in west Belfast was evacuated after the school had a message left on their voicemail which prompted staff to alert police.

A police spokeswoman said: "The school authorities have requested police after a message was found on their voicemail this morning. The school has taken the step of removing the pupils from the school while the veracity of the call is investigated."

Sinn Féin Councillor Mary Clarke has hit out at those responsible for the north Belfast alert.

Councillor Clarke said: "It’s my understanding that a crude device has been found at a house on the Oldpark Road and there is currently disruption to residents and traffic.

“This is the second incident of this nature at this location over the weekend and those responsible have nothing to offer this community who have once again been forced from their homes.

“While details remain unclear I’ve contacted statutory agencies to put in place measures to help those neighbours affected by this incident.

“I’d appeal for anyone with information to come forward so that those that planted this device can be held to account for their actions.”

Alliance Councillor Nuala McAllister has said people in North Belfast are "sick and tired" of the disruption caused by security alerts.

"In the space of a few days, we have seen disruption caused by a number of security alerts in North Belfast and further afield.

 "Although further details have yet to emerge in this instance, one alert is one too many. To have several is disgraceful. The people behind these alerts need to take a long look at their actions and realise they do nothing but cause annoyance and disruption to local people and businesses.

 "I would urge anyone with information to come forward with it to the police and help end this cycle of security alert and disruption which is making the people of North Belfast sick and tired."

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