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Explosive device found on Belfast footpath

Police described those behind the security alert as wicked and cowardly.

A viable explosive device has been found on a Belfast footpath.

The device was discovered on the Upper Lisburn Road on Friday evening.

Army bomb disposal officers attended the scene and removed the device for further examination.

PSNI Detective Sergeant Gardiner said: “I’d like to thank local people, who have had their evening disrupted, for their patience as we worked to make the area safe.

“The device was found on a footpath, where anyone – including children – could easily have come across it.

“This was a wicked and cowardly act, with potentially devastating consequences, and we are working to establish a motive and identify those responsible.”

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Justice Minister Naomi Long said the incident was ‘beyond reckless’ (Liam McBurney/PA)

Justice Minister Naomi Long said the incident was ‘beyond reckless’ (Liam McBurney/PA)

PA

Justice Minister Naomi Long said the incident was ‘beyond reckless’ (Liam McBurney/PA)

Justice Minister Naomi Long condemned the incident.

“To leave an explosive device on a public footpath like this is beyond reckless,” she said.

“Those responsible have no regard for human life. They are motivated by a need to create fear and disruption in our community and they do not care if innocent people are injured or killed as a result of their cowardly actions.

“Thankfully, due to the swift actions of the public and the professionalism and expertise of the ATO and police, a potentially serious incident has been averted.”

PA