Van hijacked in second Derry hoax alert

Van hijacked in second Derry hoax alert

Police have said an object which two masked men forced into a van, sparking a security alert in Londonderry on Thursday evening, was a hoax.

A delivery van driver was stopped by two unknown men, one of whom had a suspected gun, on Iniscarn Road in the Creggan area at about 8.45pm and they put the item inside the vehicle.The man was told to drive to the Diamond in the city centre - however, he abandoned the van at Fanad Drive, which was closed by police.Surrounding homes were evacuated in the area overnight due to the alert, which has now ended.A similar scenario unfolded on Wednesday afternoon, when a lorry driver was stopped by masked men in the Galliagh area and ordered to drive an object to Strand Road Police Station.Foyle Area Commander Chief Inspector Tony Callaghan said: "For the second time in 48 hours a security alert has caused a great deal of inconvenience to the people of Derry."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."It is important that we get this information so that the people of Derry can continue to move forward and enjoy the enormous progress that this city has seen in recent years."Detectives in Strand Road are appealing for anyone who has any information to contact them on the non-emergency number 101, by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or by liaising through a community or civic representative.The security alert at Fanad Drive in Derry has now ended and the road has been re-opened.— Trafficwatch NI (@TrafficwatchNI) August 22, 2014Sinn Féin councillor Kevin Campbell told UTV: "Last night I arrived at the scene and was speaking to residents who were evacuated - most of them are elderly, it's a settled community there between Broadway and Fanad Drive, they were all evacuated."Speaking to those who were there on the ground, they were absolutely horrified and disgusted. No one has asked for this, no one needs this kind of carry on in this community."This has brought nothing but disruption to the area and it is totally unacceptable."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."Cllr Campbell believes that people responding to arrests in the area could be behind the hoax bomb alerts.He added: "The finger of blame has been pointed directly at dissidents and there has been a number of arrests in the last three or four days, people have been questioned and I would say it's in direct response to that."


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