Man held after 'high explosives' find at Maeve House in New Lodge
A senior detective has said the storage of explosives in a high rise block of flats where hundreds of people live "beggars belief".
A 47-year-old man was arrested yesterday after a search of a flat in north Belfast uncovered a large stash of what police have termed "high explosives".
He is being quizzed at Antrim PSNI station.
Detectives staged a two-day search of the flat at Maeve House in the New Lodge and removed a considerable amount of material from the residence.
Last night the search operation was continuing.
A PSNI spokesman said they had recovered "a substantial amount of high explosives".
District Commander Chief Superintendent Nigel Grimshaw spoke of his astonishment that explosives were being stored in an apartment complex were many people live.
"Police believe this to be a significant discovery," he said.
"It beggars belief that quantities of high explosives could be stored in a block of flats in which hundreds of people are living.
"I welcome the fact that colleagues from Serious Crime Branch have taken this material out of circulation. It has been removed for detailed examination but we believe it to be high explosives."
Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly said lives had been put at risk due to the recklessness of the would-be bombers.
"The lives of residents have been put at risk by the recklessness of those responsible for storing the explosives," he said.
"The people who had these explosives in a highly built-up area have nothing to offer the people of north Belfast.
"I call on those who did this to end their activity now before someone is killed or seriously injured."
Meanwhile, several homes were evacuated close to a primary school in the Glenkeen area of Poleglass, west Belfast following the discovery of a suspicious object.
Sinn Fein councillor Stephen Magennis claimed the object – described by police as a "viable pipe-bomb-type device" – could have endangered local children.
"Residents and their children have been put in danger by those who left this device in such a built-up area," he said.
"Whoever is behind it is not wanted by the people of the estate."