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Anger at hijack thugs after Tesco halts deliveries to Northern Ireland estate

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A car burns on the rail tracks at Antrim Road during disturbances in Lurgan

A car burns on the rail tracks at Antrim Road during disturbances in Lurgan

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

A car burns on the rail tracks at Antrim Road during disturbances in Lurgan

Residents have hit out at those involved in disturbances in Lurgan at the weekend after Tesco said it was suspending deliveries to the Kilwilkie estate in order to protect its employees.

A van belonging to the supermarket giant was one of four vehicles hijacked during the violence.

It was torched on the railway line at Lake Street along with two other vehicles.

This followed earlier security alerts in the same area, including the discovery of a suspicious device that was later declared an elaborate hoax.

Petrol bombs were thrown at police during subsequent searches in an area of wasteland along Victoria Street.

The PSNI found a partially constructed improvised "heavy duty weapon" in Lurgan Park during the searches.

Tesco confirmed yesterday that it had temporarily halted home deliveries to Kilwilkie.

However, Asda is still delivering in the estate.

Tesco said its priority was the safety of staff and customers.

"We have contacted all of our customers who had placed orders that are affected by this to make alternative arrangements and we are grateful for their positive response," it added.

"We hope to be back delivering as normal to our local community very soon."

Customers impacted by the decision have been offered the option of using Tesco's click and collect service, or having their order delivered to an alternative address.

North Lurgan Community Association said it understood why the supermarket giant had made the decision.

However, it added that vulnerable and elderly people and key workers will be the ones who will suffer as a result.

"There is a lot of anger in the area over the trouble that happened over the weekend because nobody wants it, there's no support for it," it added.

"If anybody is really struggling to get goods and essentials delivered they can contact our Facebook page and one of our volunteers will get the groceries and deliver it to them.

"Hopefully this won't be permanent and we will get the deliveries back in the area sooner rather than later."

Upper Bann Sinn Fein MLA John O'Dowd said those involved in the disturbances were only harming the people of their own community.

"News that Tesco has announced it is stopping home deliveries to people in the Kilwilkie area of Lurgan as a result of recent incidents there is disappointing. Many people, particularly older members of the community, depend on home deliveries in order to get the essentials," he said.

"This is a direct result of the disgraceful scenes of rioting and attacks in the area recently.

"With the ongoing public health emergency, the demand for home deliveries is even greater."

Belfast Telegraph