03/05/2005

Orde condemns marathon bomb alert

PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde has condemned those responsible for Monday’s security alert which caused a slight disruption to the annual Belfast City Marathon.

A device, which is understood to have been viable, was made safe by army technical officers after being placed at Gideon’s Corner in Newtownabbey near the 12 mile crossover point.

Mr Orde condemned the attack saying it was “reckless and cowardly”.

“The Belfast City Marathon is an impressive cross community event, which attracts participants and spectators from across Northern Ireland and further field, with those involved raising funds for many community organisations and charities,” Mr Orde said.

An NIO spokesperson also hit out at those behind the device describing them as "stupid and reckless"

"Those responsible for leaving this device were evidently prepared to maim or kill indiscriminately and are clearly enemies of the whole community,” the spokesperson said.

The participants in the marathon event were required to make a slight detour around the area while army technical experts dealt with the device. This extended the distance by a few hundred yards.

Detectives have appealed for anyone with information to contact police in Newtownabbey or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

(MB/SP)

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