Second L'Derry Alert Declared A Hoax

A suspicious object found inside a hijacked van in Co L'derry has been described as a hoax by police.

At around 8.45pm on Thursday (21 August), the driver of the van was stopped by two men on the Iniscarn Road. One of the men is thought to have been carrying a firearm.

An object was then placed inside the van and the driver was ordered to drive to the Diamond area of the city. The driver abandoned the van at Fanad Drive and contacted police.

It is the second vehicle hijacking in two days in Derry, after a lorry was hijacked in the Galliagh area on Wednesday and a suspicious object placed onboard. The driver, again, was ordered to drive to the police station.

Commenting on Thursday's alert, Chief Inspector Tony Callaghan, Foyle Police Commander, said: "Yet again a man was going about his normal day-to-day work when he was confronted by masked men and ordered to drive with what he was told was a bomb into the city centre.

"A large number of people had to leave their homes last night because of the misguided actions of the people responsible for this incident."

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell condemned the incident, saying: "This incident serves no purpose whatsoever and must be condemned. It must have been terrifying experience for the driver of the van to have this happen while going about his normal business.

"Once again those responsible have shown complete disregard for the people of Creggan and the wider city. Residents, many of them elderly, had to be evacuated from their homes while this vehicle was examined. "

He continued: "This has brought nothing but disruption to the area and it is totally unacceptable. The fact that this is the second such hijacking incident in the city in a number of days is very concerning.

"The people of Derry have made it clear they do not what this type of thing. The city is moving forward in an atmosphere of hope and we will not allow it to be dragged back to the past by a tiny minority intent on causing disruption."


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