A child picked up bomb parts which led to a security alert in Newry on Sunday afternoon, it has emerged.
Army bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion on the component parts for an explosive device and a number of items were taken away for forensic examination following the discovery in the Violet Hill Avenue area of the city shortly before 4pm.
Residents were forced from their homes during the alert, which has since ended.
Superintendent Jane Humphries said: "When such items are left in a public area they can be innocently handled by anyone and on this occasion it was picked up by a child.
"I want to thank the public for their patience as we conducted our enquiries and worked to make the scene safe.
"I appreciate the disruption this has caused, however, when it comes to keeping people safe we do not take chances, I can only reinforce to everyone that if you see anything suspicious please do not lift it or approach it.
"Also if anyone saw anything suspicious in relation to this latest incident please get the information to us."