Belfast Telegraph

Residents evacuated from homes in west Belfast after bomb alerts phoned in

By Allan Preston

Residents in west Belfast have been evacuated from their homes after bomb alerts were phoned in.

Shortly before 6pm police reported they were dealing with a security alert in the area of the Bell Steel Road and Pantridge Road.

The PSNI said a number of houses - understood to be around a dozen - were evacuated.

In a statement, police urged anyone who noticed any suspicious activity or saw anything unusual to call police via 999.

The statement added: "If you come across a suspicious object please do not touch it – phone the police immediately."

"We would ask for your patience whilst police work as quickly as possible to ensure everyone’s safety."

SDLP councillor Brian Heading told the Belfast Telegraph: "Hopefully this will prove to be a hoax, nevertheless any incident like this being reported is worrying given the current political climate that we're in."

He continued: "The police will soon be able to confirm if it's a viable device and families will be allowed back in eventually, but it's certainly a concern that as our political institutions are in doubt, other people will be looking to fill the vacuum."

Sinn Fein councillor Stephen Magennis visited the area along with party colleagues, he said two bomb alerts had been made by phone.

"We are hoping to keep disruption limited," he said in a post on social media.

"The people who phoned these in have no support in these areas and are not wanted. All this causes is disruption for the local community."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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