| 8.4°C Belfast

Controlled explosions carried out on car

Elderly residents were evacuated from their homes for several hours last night during a security alert in west Belfast.

Police and Army Technical Officers closed part of the Benraw Road following the discovery of a suspect car.

Police carried out three controlled explosions on the vehicle, which they believe was stolen in Co Tyrone.

Three homes were evacuated and residents in several other houses were asked to move to the rear of their properties.

The Benraw Road, off Andersonstown Road, remained closed to traffic between Shanlieve Road and Commedagh Drive for several hours.

West Belfast MLA Paul Maskey who attended the scene said that elderly residents were among those evacuated.

“I have been told the car in question has been abandoned for several days,” he said.

“I don’t know why the police decided to carry out the explosions on one of the coldest nights of the year.

“Why couldn’t they have done it during the day? But, I understand they were just doing their job.”

By 8.30pm Mr Maskey said the car appeared to be unsuspicious.

Belfast Telegraph