Belfast Telegraph

Lurgan security alert: Police attacked by youths throwing bottles and stones

Police dealing with a security alert in Lurgan, Co Armagh were attacked by youths throwing bottles and stones.

The security alert at Lake Street has now ended. The street and the train line have re-opened and residents have been allowed back to their homes.

Two suspicious objects were examined by the Army and declared to be elaborate hoaxes.

Craigavon Area Commander, Chief Inspector Paul Reid, said: “The security alert began at around 9.30pm on Sunday night after police received a report that two devices had been left on or near the railway track at Lake Street.

"A security operation was swiftly put into place by police to establish the exact location of the devices. In order to ensure the safety of local residents, a number of homes were evacuated.

Chief Inspector Reid thanked local residents for the patience but said he was disappointed that officers were attacked by a small number of youths throwing bottles and stones.

He added: "I would appeal to anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area or who has any information to contact police at Lurgan on the non emergency number 101. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111."

DUP MP David Simpson said the incident was an attempt to "drag" Lurgan back to the days of security alerts and division.

Mr Simpson said: “What we witnessed in Lurgan is an attempt to drag the town back, hit it economically and cause fear and tension in an area that is a hive of activity with commuters and business owners.

"It has achieved nothing other than to disrupt the lives of hard working people as they attempt to travel.

"The people that live in this area do not want to see this type of activity. They want to move on and get on about their business. I am meeting the PSNI on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of further resources to protect Lurgan from those who use the same failed tactics in an attempt to drive their political cause.

"Whilst they will ultimately fail and their actions serve no purpose it is important that they are brought to justice for the threat they pose to life and the cost of such disruption. They must not be allowed to hold Lurgan to ransom in such a manner."

The deputy mayor of Craigavon, Sinn Fein councillor Catherine Seeley condemned those responsible.

"The entire community, particularly the community in north Lurgan, should be left in peace.

"After weeks of disruption and closed roads due to pipe-laying and other necessary road works, it is unacceptable that a small unrepresentative minority have decided to disrupt the everyday lives of the local community once again for no reason.

"Those responsible are offering nothing to the local community other than pointless disruption and need to stop these futile actions immediately."

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