Pipe Bomb Removed As City Alerts Continue

A 'viable device' thought to be a pipe bomb has been taken away for examination after it was found during a security alert close to the Alexandra Bar on York Road.

It meant traffic being diverted this morning and some residents being moved from their homes as Army bomb experts dealt with the incident.

Parts of the Limestone Road and Mountcollyer Avenue which had also been closed during the alert in north Belfast have now reopened.

Meanwhile, 12 homes remain evacuated in west Belfast due to another security alert where the PSNI and Army bomb experts are still this afternoon examining a suspicious object found in Colinview Street.

The news comes just hours after the Army made safe a second pipe bomb in west Belfast. The device was discovered at La Salle Park a short time after another pipe bomb exploded outside a house in nearby St James Park at 8pm last night.

A family of six in the house at the time was not injured, although a van parked outside was badly damaged.

The SDLP West Belfast MLA and Stormont Minister, Alex Attwood has condemned those responsible for planting two pipe bombs in the St James' Park area of the city.

"Innocent families in St James' Park could easily have been seriously injured or killed by these pipe bombs. This is totally and utterly unacceptable and has left this community reeling.

"People, including vulnerable and elderly residents, have been traumatised having been forced out of their homes and young children have been seriously frightened due to the mindless actions of those responsible for this terror.

"Whoever did this belongs behind bars and I urge the community to cooperate with the police so that the culprits can be punished for their actions," he said.

The Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn has also condemned those behind the incident and said: "These are very worrying developments. I am appalled at the mindless actions of those involved.

"It's difficult to comprehend how anyone could be so irresponsible. Anyone who can assist police with their investigations should contact them immediately so that those involved can face the full weight of the law."

A Sinn Fein councillor for West Belfast, Briege Brownlee has also attacked those behind the incident: "Whoever is behind these devices has shown absolute disregard for this community.

"These are viable and dangerous devices. The first pipe bomb went off around 8pm and was attached to a gallon drum of petrol. The second, which was discovered only minutes later, was outside the home of another resident and is of a similar design.

"Anybody could have been passing these devices when they went off and this could had serious consequences with injuries or death. There are families with children in and about this community who are now rightly concerned at these events.

"Those responsible for the leaving of these pipe bombs must seriously consider their actions. They have attacked this entire community. The need now to come forward and explain what warped logic they had for these actions," she said, last night.


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