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Pipe-bomb chaos for residents and drivers

The discovery of a pipe-bomb in south Belfast yesterday forced residents to evacuate their homes and led to traffic chaos across the city.

The device was found by police a short distance away from a nursery school at a BMX track at Roden Street.

The school had already been evacuated during an earlier alert.

Residents in nearby Iverna Close were advised by police to leave their homes if possible during the alert.

A controlled explosion was carried out on the device and police confirmed it as “component parts of a pipe-bomb”.

The Westlink was closed between Broadway and the Grosvenor Road during the alerts, causing serious traffic disruption in Belfast for much of the afternoon.

The nursery schoolchildren had already been caught up in a security scare after another suspect object was spotted near the daycare centre earlier in the morning.

The children at Arellian nursery school were moved to a nearby youth centre at around 11.30am following the discovery of a suspect device in Bentham Drive.

A spokesman for the BELB confirmed the children were evacuated from the Sandy Row school.

He said: “The PSNI advised the principal to evacuate the school premises. All pupils were taken to the Charter Youth Club.”

Army Technical Officers were called to the scene and the alert was declared a hoax late yesterday afternoon.

UUP councillor Michelle Bostock’s three-year-old niece was at the nursery school when the alert began.

She said: “I am disgusted by what has happened.

“I was shocked when I got the call and dropped everything to go and pick her up.”

Belfast Telegraph