Latest Bomb Alert Declared 'Hoax'

South Belfast is now returning to normal after a security alert was declared an elaborate hoax.

A number of offices had been evacuated after the discovery of a suspicious object.

It was found at Lower Crescent off the University Road on Friday morning.

The street was closed to traffic for a time.

Army bomb experts were sent to the scene and examined the object before declaring it a hoax.

There have been a series of such alerts in recent weeks, most being blamed on dissident republican groups.

In west Belfast for example, a controlled explosion had to be carried out on a suspicious object found at the gates of Whiterock Leisure Centre on the same day in early April that another suspicious device found close to the Springfield Road was also eventually declared a hoax.

At the end of March, hundreds of Belfast school children were sent home following a hoax security alert.

St Aidan's Primary School on the Springfield Road was closed after the discovery of a suspicious object on the Whiterock Road, which was later declared non-suspicious.
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The Whiterock Road was closed at the junction with the Springfield Road and Army technical officers also examining an object at Ligoneil Road and later said the alert was a hoax. The road was finally reopened between Mountainhill Road and Crumlin Road.

The late March alerts came after a series of disturbances across the city on the previous evening when a number of key routes in and out of Belfast were affected.

Traffic in Belfast came to a standstill after police closed parts of the M1 at Moira and near the Lurgan route, where a vehicle had been abandoned.

Security alerts near police stations at Tennant Street, North Queen Street, Kingsway and Blacks Road were all declared hoaxes, as were alerts on the Andersonstown Road and at the Stormont Hotel on the Upper Newtownards Road.

The Hillview Road in the Oldpark area of north Belfast was reopened, and the Upper Springfield Road was made passable after a burning hijacked lorry was extinguished.

Disruption was also caused by a burnt out van on the Crumlin Road, close to Holy Cross church during the widespread disruption three weeks ago.

See: Latest Belfast 'Bomb' Alerts Declared Hoaxes

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