Belfast Telegraph

Further information on bomb left in Belfast area leads to 'significant' evacuations

Police have said further information on the location of a possible bomb left in an area of west Belfast has forced a "significant" number of evacuations in the area.

Upper Dunmurry Lane is closed with diversions in place at Corrina Park and the roundabout at the junction of Creightons Road/Old Golf Course Road and the junction at Cherry Road.

It's thought the disruption could last well into the night and into Tuesday.

It comes after a weekend of disruption following reports a device had been left in the area on Saturday. Homes, a chapel and a school have all been evacuated on Monday as a precaution as further searches take place. Police said they had received further information about an explosive device left in the area.

Sinn Fein condemned those behind the incident, while the SDLP appealed for "attacks on the community to stop".

Superintendent Melanie Jones explained: “As a result of further information about an explosive device having been left in the area, we are carrying out additional searches.

“On advice from ATO, we are in the process of evacuating a significant number of residential properties, a chapel and Primary School as a precautionary measure to protect the public. We are liaising with partner agencies to provide alternative accommodation for those affected, especially local residents.

“I fully understand that the evacuation and road closures are causing significant disruption to local community life, however, public safety is our primary concern and we will not take any risks.

“I would like to thank the community for their patience and understanding as we continue what may be a protracted policing operation."

Sinn Fein councillor Charlene O’Hara said the incident had caused much disruption.

“The road which is the main access for people from the local area to the motorway has been sealed off now for number of days for some residents while police have been searching for the device," she said.

"Other residents have had to be evacuated from their homes as a result of this incident.

“Those responsible for causing this alert in the area have brought local people nothing but disruption and chaos in the mouth of Christmas.

“If anyone has any information about then they should bring it forward to the police.”

SDLP councillor Brian Heading expressed his "deep regret" over the disruption.

"These attacks on the community must stop.  People are entitled to lives in peace and safety.   Anyone who has any information should contact the police," he added.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 838 of 07/12/18. Or information can be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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