Northern Ireland news

Vehicles hijacked and set alight during disturbances in Lurgan

Clearing up on the main Belfast to Dublin rail line at Lake Street level crossing following trouble on Sunday night. Picture by Alan Lewis/PhotopressBelfast

A NUMBER of vehicles including a delivery van were hijacked and set alight during disturbances in Lurgan.

A Tesco delivery vehicle was hijacked and set on fire on the railway line at Lake Street last night. Police said the line was closed for a time as officers dealt with the incident.

Three other vehicles were also hijacked in the Kilwilkee area and set alight. It came after petrol bombs were thrown at police during disorder in the estate earlier in the day.

A security alert was also sparked in the Tarry Drive area following the discovery of a suspicious device.

Residents were evacuated from their homes as bomb disposal experts dealt with the device, which was later declared an elaborate hoax.

A vehicle burnt out on the main Belfast to Dublin railway line in Lurgan. Picture by Alan Lewis/PhotopressBelfast

A number of searches were also carried out in the Lurgan area over the weekend, linked to an ongoing investigation into dissident republican activity.

Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd condemned those responsible.

"Those involved in orchestrating and participating in trouble in Lurgan over the course of the weekend have absolutely nothing to offer our community or society as a whole."

He added: "The question must be asked, exactly what purpose do these actions serve other than to harm our community.

"Those involved in these disturbances are void of logic, support and strategic vision.

"They must get off the backs of the local community and allow residents to live in peace."

Alan Lewis- PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 23-8-2020 A vehicle burning on the main Belfast to Dublin railway line at the Antrim Road level crossing in Lurgan, north County Armagh, as crowds of youths roamed the Kilwilke Estate hijacking vehicles and driving them to local road crossings where they were set on fire on the tracks. Police patrolling the estate came under petrol bomb attack not far from where an earlier security alert was declared an eleborate hoax after an army bomb disposal expert had examined a suspicious object..

Alliance councillor Peter Lavery called on those responsible "to wise up and stop".

"Those who caused this security alert and who attacked the police with petrol bombs do not represent the vast majority of people in Lurgan," he said.

"They are achieving nothing except causing disruption for local residents and forcing vital resources to be diverted elsewhere."

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