21/06/2016

1.5kg Of Suspected Explosives Found In North Belfast

Around one and a half kilos of suspected explosives have been found in north Belfast.

The discovery was made by police at Maeve House in the New Lodge area on Monday following a tip-off from a member of the public.

Army bomb disposal experts were at the scene and the explosives have now been removed.

Sinn Féin councillor JJ Magee said: "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."

Alliance Councillor Nuala McAllister said: "It is very disappointing that there are still people in our society actively working to disrupt the progress Northern Ireland has made.

"This discovery is extremely worrying. I'm relieved the authorities acted quickly and the explosives where swiftly removed and the area was made safe.
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"These explosives had the potential to cause serious carnage among our community and I would urge anyone with information to contact the PSNI as soon as possible."

Chairman of the Police Federation Northern Ireland (PFNI), Mark Lindsay, said: "What is most worrying is how did Semtex come to be discovered in a block of flats in the New Lodge area? Where did it come from? Was it old stock?

"These are legitimate questions to ask, and I would like to be given some direct answers. Our officers deserve no less. There is a threat level that is rated ‘severe’ in Northern Ireland and finding this quantity of Semtex points to no let-up in the determination of terrorists to kill and maim officers or other members of the security services.

"We must be constantly vigilant and aware. There must be no let-up or relaxation in our efforts to thwart and frustrate these mindless individuals.

"We need the continuing help of the public in what must be a joint community effort to rid society of this menace."

(CD/JP)

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