21/01/2019

L'Derry Police Working To Manage Two Security Alerts

Two separate security alerts are currently ongoing in the city of L'Derry.

Police are currently at the scene of an alert in the Circular Road area, while another is taking place less than a mile away on Southway.

The operation in Circular Road comes after a report of a vehicle hijacking just before 11.30am.

Three masked men took control of a white transit van and were seen throwing an object into the back before abandoning it in the city's Creggan estate.

A number of homes in the area have been evacuated as a result.

A PSNI spokesperson said the community centre in Central Drive is open to those who have been evacuated, and thanked local residents for their patience.

"I know this security alert will cause significant disruption to many people, but we will not take any chances and we have no option but to take these measures in order to keep people safe.

"This is the last thing the people of the City need, or want, but I want to reassure people we are doing all we can to minimise disruption."

Meanwhile, reports have emerged that a Royal Mail van has also been hijacked and abandoned across Southway.

Police have moved to seal off the area.

The security alerts come just two days after a car bomb exploded in L'Derry city centre, which police believe is the work of the new IRA.

The device detonated on Bishop Street outside the courthouse shortly after 8pm on Saturday 19 January, moments after police secured the surrounding area.

A fifth suspect has been arrested in relation to this attack.
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SDLP MLA for the area Mark H Durkan condemned the incidents on the streets of L'Derry.

He said: "This incident is yet another major disruption for residents in the Creggan area, on top of the disruption and distruction that was caused in the city centre over the weekend.

"The only people suffering here are local people. These attacks are as illogical as they are unacceptable."

Meanwhile, party leader Colum Eastwood added that the actions of the "reckless individuals and their futile attempts to gain relevance" will not affect the city.

"These individuals profess to be fighting for Ireland against the British state. What they fail to understand is that they stand in opposition to the Irish people. That is a battle that they can never win. This city has consistently rejected violence and we will continue to reject it," the Foyle MLA commented.

"Those responsible need to listen to the voice of the Irish people. Violence has been firmly rejected by the people of this island. No amount of explosives will ever change that. In a time where politics is marred with ambiguity and the future uncertain, the overriding truth is that it has never been violence, but ultimately politics which builds the foundations of the future. It is politics which is the most powerful weapon and courage the language of peace.

"We owe so much more to the generations, who against great adversity, made Derry the special place it is today, and we owe it to our children to make sure no person or group is allowed to undo that work," Mr Eastwood concluded.



(JG/CM)

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