Rocket launcher found in west Belfast

Published Tuesday, 26 February 2013
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Police say lives have been saved after a rocket launcher and a warhead were discovered during a search at a west Belfast house.

Rocket launcher found in west Belfast
Police and army bomb experts attended the scene. (© UTV)

Police initially said that a security alert was sparked on Hawthorn Street after "a suspect explosive device" was found at a property in the area.

It was later confirmed that officers from the Serious Crime Branch found the military style weapons while conducting the search as part of an investigation into ongoing dissident terrorist activity.

The rocket launcher and the warhead - which, if viable, contains explosives - have been taken away for forensic examinations.

A PSNI spokesperson said: "These weapons systems are clearly intended to kill and we should be in no doubt that the recovery of these items has saved lives."

A number of properties were evacuated, but residents have since been allowed to return to their homes and the road has now reopened.

Earlier this month Gardaí in Co Tipperary intercepted a suspected dissident republican haul of rocket launchers and explosives, which were believed to be en route to Northern Ireland.

There are no further details.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Been There Done That. in NI wrote (701 days ago):
To Ryan in Belfast: Who says that all Catholics are aiming for a United Ireland? Have you asked every one of them? Do you have any evidence to back up this statement? I have plenty of catholic friends and work colleagues and none of the one's I know have professed any desire to join a United Ireland. I think you're stretching the truth to something that you may want to believe in.
tommy in belfast wrote (702 days ago):
@ The Historian in Belfast what world do you live in please can you tell everybody when the last time there was a peaceful protest by the Ardoyne residents as far back as this march became so called contentious which every year another march upsets the poor nationalist community there has been trouble at ardoyne from the nationalist community there has never been a peacfull protest at ardoyne so before you have a go at gazza think about your comments as peacfull protest @ ardoyne is a total joke never has this been the case
Ciaran in Belfast wrote (702 days ago):
For a start who even said that they are weapons that the PIRA were meant to have decommissioned not the police so why is people posting this in comments. Then gazza if the police have no suspects the cannot make an arrest what do you just want them to arrest anyone and charge them with it even if they have no evidence and maybe if idiots that are protesting for a stupid flag didn't intimidate people while doing so the police would have the resources to investigate this find better lets not forget it was only weeks ago that protesters tried to murder a police officer in his car.
Liam in Belfast wrote (702 days ago):
as a republican, I'm going to agree with Alan and say; Gazza, I love your work, between you Jamie Bryson and wee Willie, the media has been a geg these past few months.
The Historian in Belfast wrote (703 days ago):
@Gazza - you made a point saying Protestants were arrested for waving a flag then you change your distorted comment to arrested for protesting! Lets spell this out - these protests are illegal! Illegal means breaking the law! When you break the law then the police have the power to arrest you and put you in front of a court that uphold and defends the law - i could not put this any more simplistically !!! Its embarrassing the way the union flag has been treated by people who have no love for britishness, the empire or even self respect for that matter! To brow beat with a flag is a disgrace ! Heres a question: do you accept and respect the stance of the peaceful ardoyne residents every year when they (peacefully) protest as the orange order trample over their rights and dignities? Be interested to hear your one sighted answer but have a go!!
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