Rocket launcher found in west Belfast linked to dissidents
A rocket launcher and a warhead have been found after police searches linked to dissident republican activity in west Belfast.
Residents were forced to leave their homes during the alert at Hawthorn Street last night.
Police said the incident was sparked after the discovery of a suspect explosive device at a property in the area.
"These weapons systems are clearly intended to kill and we should be in no doubt that the recovery of these items has saved lives," a PSNI spokesperson said:
The weapons were taken away for forensic examination.
Shortly after 10pm, police said residents had been allowed to return to their homes and the road had reopened.
Meanwhile, part of the M5 motorway near Newtownabbey was closed last night after the discovery of another suspicious object.
The motorway was closed in both directions with diversions at the Shore Road. It follows reports of a device in the area.
Police had earlier searched part of the Shore Road. It was closed between Hazelbank and the Doagh Road.