'Viable' device found in Belfast

Published Saturday, 19 May 2012
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A viable device has been discovered in the Stewartstown Road area of west Belfast.

'Viable' device found in Belfast
Police and army technical officers are at the scene. (© UTV)

A suspected firearm and ammunition were also recovered during the operation.

The items have been taken away for further forensic examinations.

Several homes were evacuated on Saturday afternoon while the alert was underway.

Lisburn Sinn Féin Councillor Stephen Magennis has condemned those responsible.

He said that the device was discovered by a young woman and her children as they passed by a bookmakers shop.

"Given that there are a number of soccer and rugby finals today there was a larger than usual number of people in the vicinity of the bookies."

Cllr Magennis said those responsible for leaving the device showed "a total disregard for the safety of men, women or children."

"It was a reckless act," he said, before adding that the disruption caused was "totally unacceptable."

"Had anyone lifted this bomb then they risked death or serious injury."

He concluded: "I am calling on those involved in this futile activity to desist before someone is hurt or worse happens."

SDLP Councillor Brian Heading said the community once again had been disrupted.

"Yet again today we are faced with another security alert in West Belfast whereby families and the elderly have been forced to flee their homes.

"This activity is causing serious disruption to people and businesses in our community. It is distressing innocent people and must stop.

"I appeal to anyone with information about this device to pass it onto the police immediately."

© UTV News
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