Belfast Telegraph

Belfast explosion: Man arrested under Terrorism Act released unconditionally

By Ciaran Barnes

A man arrested in connection with an explosion in east Belfast has been released unconditionally.

Loyalist paramilitaries denied involvement in the blast.

A 32-year-old was taken into custody on Saturday after locals reported hearing a loud bang on Fraser Pass in the Ballymacarrett area. He was being questioned on suspicion of possessing explosives with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.

He was questioned by police under the Terrorism Act before his release. Those arrested under The Terrorism Act must either be charged or released unconditionally. Bail is not permitted under the legislation.

At first it was believed that a bomb had been thrown into a back garden, the blast of which destroyed a shed and blew out a back window.

However, officers were exploring a theory that the device may have gone off while being constructed near the house.

People living on Fraser Pass said they were mystified about the cause of the explosion when Sunday Life visited the street.

East Belfast UVF and UDA sources also denied any knowledge, with one leading paramilitary saying: “There were all sorts of rumours flying around about who was arrested.

“A couple of people were named wrongly. At this stage it looks to have nothing to do with loyalists.”

Veteran Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rodgers said: “This is absolutely sickening and appalling, there could have been fatalities or injuries.

“This is the first time in a long time that that such a thing has happened in east Belfast.

“I totally and utterly condemn it and would ask anybody with any information to contact the police without delay.

“It’s time all of this business stopped, I’m just relieved nobody suffered and the people in the area are quite annoyed that this taken place.”

Progressive Unionist Party councillor John Kyle said: “It is important that the police pursue and find out the circumstances behind this and deal with it appropriately.”

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