Derry security alerts: Vans hijacked and homes evacuated
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.
Army Technical Officers have carried out two controlled explosions on the hijacked van which was abandoned on Creggan’s Circular Road in #Derry. A second hijacked van sits just down the street at Southway pic.twitter.com/hWFIZm7RHA— Leona O'Neill (@LeonaONeill1) January 21, 2019
"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 white van at the centre of today’s security alert in Creggan Estate. The van was hijacked earlier by masked men, an object thrown into it and it was abandoned near these homes on Circular Road. The alert comes just two days after a car bomb exploded in #Derry city centre pic.twitter.com/KtS75w0jbA— Leona O'Neill (@LeonaONeill1) January 21, 2019
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.