Residents forced out in security alert

RESIDENTS were forced from their homes for several hours yesterday following a security alert at the Water-works Park in north Belfast.

Residents of Linden Gardens were asked to leave their homes while British Army bomb disposal experts examined the object at the park off the Antrim Road.

A controlled explosion was carried out on the device which was later declared a hoax.

A section of the park close to the Cliftonville Road was closed from yesterday morning through the afternoon.

The park is popular with families and walkers. It is also used for recreational activities with the larger of the two ponds stocked with trout and is a popular spot for anglers.

By 4pm the alert was over and residents were allowed to return to their homes.

A PSNI spokesman said army technical officers had "examined a suspicious object discovered in the area and, following a controlled explosion, have declared it to be a hoax".

"The park has now re-opened to the public."

A security alert in south Belfast meanwhile during which a crude viable explosive device was found, has been condemned.

Army bomb disposal experts were called to Donegall Avenue at around 7.30pm on Sunday after detectives from the PSNI's Serious Crime Branch found a suspicious object.

The train line between Adelaide and Great Victoria Street was closed for a time during the operation.

The alert ended at 12.35am yesterday after a crude viable explosive device was found. The device and other related material were removed for further examination.

Anna Lo, Alliance assembly member, hit out at the disruption caused.

"The people responsible are offering nothing to our society except death, injury and disruption," she said.

"The vast majority of the population are opposed to their actions. Anybody could have been seriously injured or killed had they picked up this device."

* ALERT: Police at the scene of a security alert in Waterworks Park in north Belfast where a controlled explosion was carried out on what later turned out to be a hoax

PICTURE: Hugh Russell


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