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Video: Viable device discovered during east Belfast security alert

A security alert in east Belfast has ended after police confirmed a viable device had been discovered on Wednesday evening.

The incident saw as many as 60 homes evacuated in the Castlereagh Road area of the city at around 2.30pm, while police and ammunition technical officers attended the scene and made the device safe.

Some residents had to be moved to the nearby Cregagh community centre in the area, which was opened for a time as an emergency area.

Police said residents have now been allowed to return to their homes.

The incident has been condemned by local politicians.

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Police at the scene of a security alert on Orby Drive on October 13, 2021 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Police at the scene of a security alert on Orby Drive on October 13, 2021 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Police at the scene of a security alert on Orby Drive on October 13, 2021 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Alliance councillor Michael Long said: “Those behind these sorts of devices represent nobody in the community and just causes disruption for locals.

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“I utterly condemn them, as they clearly have no regard for anyone else. I am thankful the local residents are all safe.

“My thanks go to the police and other authorities who have dealt with this situation. If anyone has any information on the incident, I urge them to contact the PSNI with it immediately.”

Earlier, SDLP Lisnasharragh councillor Seamas de Faoite said he had been in touch with residents in the Orby Drive area of Orangefield during the security alert.

“This is the last thing residents want or need. Nobody wants to see this type of behaviour in this area and it’s disruptive to people's lives,” he added.

DUP MLA Robin Newton said: “Whatever the cause of this incident it’s important that all members of the public keep safe by cooperating fully with the PSNI and other emergency services.”

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Police at the scene of a security alert on Orby Drive on October 13, 2021 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Police at the scene of a security alert on Orby Drive on October 13, 2021 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Police at the scene of a security alert on Orby Drive on October 13, 2021 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Police described the incident as a “completely reckless act” and appealed for anyone with information to come forward to police.

PSNI Inspector McNulty said: “Officers received a report that a suspicious object had been discovered outside a property in the area at around 2.30pm.

"The object, which has been declared as a viable device was made safe by ammunition technical officers. It has since been taken away for further forensic examinations.

“A number of residents who were evacuated from their homes, have now returned and we would like to thank those affected by this alert for their patience.

"Leaving viable explosive devices in a residential area is a completely reckless act and shows no regard for the lives of people in this area.

"I would appeal to anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the Castlereagh Road area, or anyone with any information which can assist us with our enquiries to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 992 13/09/21.

"You can also submit a report online using the non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/.”


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