Mortar bomb found near Belfast police station 'failed to go off'

Mervyn Jess reports for BBC Newsline

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Police say a device found close to New Barnsley police station in west Belfast was a viable mortar bomb which "failed to go off".

Homes in the area were evacuated and two primary schools were closed as army bomb experts deal with the device.

Most residents were allowed to return to their houses by the early hours of Saturday morning.

Earlier on Friday, a funeral in the Black Mountain estate was disrupted due to the alert.

The device was spotted by a police officer coming off duty at New Barnsley.


PSNI Area Commander, Superintendent Emma Bond, said the discovery was made at about 07:15 GMT on a piece of waste ground, close to schools and homes.

Supt Bond said police believe it had been transported to the site in a vehicle some time between Thursday night and Friday morning and she appealed to the public for information.

The terrain proved difficult for the army bomb disposal team - their first robot toppled over during a squall and a second vehicle was sent in to deal with the suspect device.

Springhill and Black Mountain schools were closed and some of the people who were moved from their homes were given at Ballygomartin Presbyterian church and the Whiterock Community Centre.

It is the fourth similar incident in the area in recent weeks.

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