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Anger over west Belfast alert

It is appalling that hundreds of people were forced out of their homes on the outskirts of west Belfast during cold and wet weather in the run-up to Christmas because of a security alert.

There will be widespread anger that a device described as an improvised weapon, which endangered the lives of both police officers and ordinary civilians in the area, was eventually located at Upper Dunmurry Lane.

While there will be relief that no one was injured, the prolonged disruption not only led to the evacuation of residents but also the closure of a school and a church.

There can be little doubt that dissident republicans were responsible, and they need to take on board the message that their activities are unacceptable at this or any other time of year.

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