Northern Ireland news

1.5kg of explosives found at flats in north Belfast

A bomb disposal team and forensic experts carry out searches at Maeve House in the New Lodge area of Belfast. Picture by Cliff Donaldson

POLICE last night said they uncovered 1.5kg of suspected explosives at a high-rise block of flats after a report from a member of the public.

The seizure was made yesterday at Maeve House in the New Lodge area of north Belfast.

Army bomb disposal experts were called and the suspected explosives removed.

PSNI Detective Inspector Stuart Griffin said considerable inconvenience had been caused to residents and he thanked them for their co-operation.

"Thankfully these suspected explosives are no longer in the public domain," he said.

Sinn Féin councillor JJ Magee last night welcomed the seizure.

"I welcome the fact that these explosives have been made safe and I hope the area can now return to normal following the disruption of the security alert."

In May 2014, the largest seizure of semtex recovered in Northern Ireland in a decade was found at Maeve House.

Sources at the time said the 2.5kg of explosives could have been used to make up to 20 under-car booby trap bombs.

Charges were later dropped against a man detained by police in connection with the find.

Meanwhile, five people were arrested after police seized several large knives in the Limewood area of Banbridge yesterday.

The weapons were seized after reports of a large scale disturbance.

The PSNI revealed the haul on Facebook, saying the weapons "could have killed" .

"We're glad to get them off the street and are relying on you, our lovely public, to keep reporting suspicious or violent activity."

DUP MLA Carla Lockhart said: "Not only have dangerous weapons been taken off the street but five people were also arrested.

"There can be no justifiable reason for anyone to carry these weapons on their person and it is very welcome for the residents of Limewood and the greater Banbridge area that they are now in the possession of the PSNI."

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Northern Ireland news