Northern Ireland news

Derry security alerts: Vans hijacked and homes evacuated

The PSNI warned of "significant disruption" to the area as they deal with a security alert in Derry

A NUMBER of homes have been evacuated as police attend two security alerts in Derry.

A Royal Mail van has been stolen and abandoned in Southway in the Creggan area of the city. The road has been closed as PSNI officers examine the scene.

Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said: "Just before 1:45pm this afternoon, we received a report a delivery driver's vehicle had been hijacked on Southway by four masked men, one of them who is reported to have had a gun. The two occupants in the van were ordered to drive the vehicle to the Lonemoor Road and leave it there. 

"We are in the process of implementing a public safety operation, establishing cordons and evacuating a number of homes. 

The operation comes after reports of another vehicle being stolen in the city just before 11.30am.

A white Transit van was reportedly hijacked by three masked men who threw an object into the back of the vehicle before abandoning it.

Police confirmed a controlled explosion had been carried out on this vehicle and a number of homes remain evacuated with cordons are still in place as investigations continue.

The alert comes after a car bomb attack outside the courthouse on Bishop Street in Derry. A pizza delivery driver was hijacked and the bomb planted in his car.

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