Northern Ireland news

Viable device found after Belfast security alert

Police and ammunition technical officers attended the scene in Norglen Parade

A DEVICE which prompted a security alert and forced people from their homes in west Belfast has been declared viable.

Police and ammunition technical officers attended the scene in Norglen Parade on Tuesday after a suspicious object was discovered.

The alert ended and a PSNI spokesman said a viable device was taken away for further examination.

Cordons were lifted and residents who were evacuated from their homes were able to return.

SDLP west Belfast representative Paul Doherty said: "I cannot understand what would motivate anyone to place a viable device in a residential area where a large number of people live.

"Given the proximity of this device to homes, we are lucky that it didn't go off and cause serious harm or injury to anyone.

"I would urge anyone involved in these kinds of incidents to cease at once.

"This security alert led to residents having to evacuate their homes, during a very warm spell of weather and caused significant disruption to the local community who just want to go about their lives. Those behind this act need to think about the impact they are having on people.

"I received a number of calls last night from asylum seeker and refugee families who were frightened by what happened and the resulting large police operation in the area. We need to see an end to these kind of incidents in our community before it has tragic consequences."

Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey criticised those responsible.

"I condemn those responsible, they caused disruption with residents having to leave their homes and showed no regard whatsoever for the local community," he said.

"There is no support for these actions locally and those responsible need to get off the backs of this community. I would appeal to anyone with information to contact the police."

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