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Weekend security alerts bring chaos and fear to streets

By Staff Reporter

Published 21/03/2016

bomb disposal officer at the scene of an explosion in Sheridan Street in north Belfast
bomb disposal officer at the scene of an explosion in Sheridan Street in north Belfast
Police at the security alert in Carrickfergus on Saturday afternoon

A series of security alerts caused disruption across Northern Ireland over the weekend.

Residents in south Belfast were forced to leaves their homes after the discovery of a suspect device on Upper Lisburn Road at around 12.30am yesterday.

They were unable to return home until around 4am.

Army bomb disposal experts later declared the device found near Creighton's garage a hoax.

PSNI Inspector Darren Hardy said: "This hoax device caused massive inconvenience, disruption and upset for the local community, including many elderly and vulnerable people."

Police are also investigating a pipe bomb attack on a house in north Belfast.

The latest incident involves at least the sixth device that has been planted or exploded in the New Lodge within the past year.

The PSNI said the device was thrown at a property in Sheridan Street overnight on Saturday. However, the incident was not reported to police until 9.45am.

Damage was caused to a window frame, but the occupants of the house were not injured. Nearby homes were evacuated while the remnants of the device were made safe and taken for examination.

Sinn Fein MLA Caral Ni Chuilin said: "I totally condemn those responsible and call on them to desist from this activity before someone is seriously injured or killed."

Meanwhile, a security alert in Carrickfergus on Saturday ended after a suspicious object was found to be nothing untoward.

An object was located in an alley between Lancasterian Street and Albert Road. Residents were evacuated and roads closed. The item was examined by Army ammunition technical officers and found to be nothing untoward.

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson said: "Whatever it is, is completely reprehensible, and whoever has done this or started this needs to think seriously about why they have done these things."

"Of course, it has caused disruption to traffic and family life in Carrickfergus."

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