Belfast Telegraph

Police probe blast at east Belfast house

Man released by PSNI while loyalists deny involvement

By Staff Reporter

A man arrested over an alleged explosion in east Belfast has been released unconditionally.

The 32-year-old was arrested on Saturday morning, and later re-arrested under the Terrorism Act, following reports of a "loud bang" on Fraser Pass in the Ballymacarrett area at around 8.15pm on Friday.

The man remained in custody for most of the weekend being quizzed by detectives.

But he was released last night unconditionally.

Damage was clearly visible at the back of the property yesterday at the centre of the investigation.

At first it was believed that a bomb had been thrown into a back garden - the blast of which destroyed a shed and blew out a back window.

However, officers also considered a theory that the device may have gone off while being constructed near the house.

Detective Sergeant Ricky Thompson has appealed for anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the Ballymacarrett area on Friday night between 7pm and 8.30pm to get in touch with detectives.

People living on Fraser Pass told the Sunday Life that they were mystified about the cause of the explosion.

Loyalist paramilitaries, including the East Belfast UVF and UDA, denied involvement in the explosion at the weekend.

"There were all sorts of rumours flying around about who was arrested," one leading paramilitary said.

"A couple of people were named wrongly.

"At this stage it looks to have nothing to do with loyalists."

DUP councillor George Dorrian expressed concern at the incident.

He tweeted that he had been with residents on Saturday morning following the explosion on Friday night.

"A lot of good work is going on in the area, which will not be undermined by this," he said.

"Not clear yet the circumstances but very concerning what has occurred."

Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rodgers said it was fortunate no-one was hurt in the incident.

"This is absolutely sickening and appalling, there could have been fatalities or injuries," he said.

"This is the first time in a long time that such a thing has happened in east Belfast.

"I totally and utterly condemn it and would ask anybody with any information to contact the police without delay.

"It's time all of this business stopped. I'm just relieved nobody suffered and the people in the area are quite annoyed that this has taken place."

PUP councillor John Kyle added: "It is important that the police pursue and find out the circumstances behind this and deal with it appropriately."

Belfast Telegraph

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