Northern Ireland

Bomb alert outside Alliance Party office an 'elaborate hoax'

Scene outside Alliance Party offices
Image caption A security alert at Alliance Party offices closed part of Upper Newtownards Road in Belfast

The bomb alert outside the east Belfast office of the Alliance Party has ended and has been declared an elaborate hoax.

The Army carried out a controlled explosion on a suspicious object found in a bin close to the building on the Upper Newtownards Road.

The road was closed between its junctions with the Beersbridge Road and Grampian Avenue but has since reopened.

An alert at Donegall Park in south Belfast was also a hoax, police said.

Earlier, a number of people were able to return to their homes in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast after an overnight bomb alert.

It began when an object was found in Silverstream Avenue in Ballysillan.

A number of residents sought shelter in a local leisure centre while the Army examined the suspicious object.

Residents were able to return home at about 05:00 BST on Tuesday after it was declared a hoax.