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Vehicle sparks security alert

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 13/12/2006

A suspicious vehicle sparked an security alert in Belfast today.

Army technical officers cordoned off the scene at North Street, its junction with Shankill Road, Gresham Street and its junction with Royal Avenue at 10.30am.

The area remained sealed off to motorists and pedestrians this afternoon while officers investigated the vehicle.

A number of businesses were advised by police to evacuate their premises during the alert.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Pat McCarthy, condemned those behind the bomb scare.

"Scares like this are designed to cause disruption and mayhem for the people living in Belfast," he said.

"They help no-one and those behind such alerts only have contempt for the citizens trying to live here peacefully.

"I would condemn anyone who forces people to close their business and lose money. They have nothing worthwhile to offer the people of this city."

Meanwhile, follow-up searches were carried out by officers in Craigavon today after reports of suspicious devices near Lurgan police station last Thursday.

No devices were found following the alert last week.

By lunchtime today no devices had been discovered. Police are advising the public to report any suspicious items to police on 0845 600 8000.

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