Northern Ireland

Alert continues after bomb found in north Belfast

Police have said a bomb left outside a Belfast shop was an "anti-personnel device" designed to kill people.

About 50 families spent a second night out of their homes as a security operation continues on the Antrim Road in the north of the city.

Police have said hundreds of people would have walked past the bomb.

A second object found by police on Wednesday night is believed to be a bomb component and may have been part of the original bomb.

On Wednesday, police said the security operation would continue "well into tomorrow".

Chief Superintendent Mark Hamilton said: "This was an anti-personnel bomb which was designed to kill people in the area.

"Many hundreds of people have walked past this bomb after it was abandoned by terrorists and their lives were clearly at risk.

"We are not satisfied yet that this area is safe and the army technical officer will continue to work for some considerable period to make sure the area is entirely safe.

"After that we will have to move into forensic recovery mode because a very serious crime has been committed against this community."

The alert began after a series of calls claiming to be from dissident republican group Oglaigh na hEireann.

Up to 100 homes and businesses have been evacuated. The road has been closed since 1600 GMT on Tuesday.

The alert is close to Antrim Road police station.

Army bomb disposal experts are still examining the device and have carried out controlled explosions on a suspect car.

About 50 families have been moved from their homes, while a children's home had also been evacuated and people under sedation in a clinic had to be moved.

'Disruptive'

Some families who were moved from their homes were put up at Fortwilliam and McCrory Presbyterian Church overnight.

Image caption Army bomb experts move in to examine the device

The Reverend Lesley Carroll said the alert had been "very disruptive".

North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said those responsible had nothing to offer society.

"Those responsible prove only how totally inconsiderate they are of other people's well-being and I condemn their actions utterly," he said.

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly said police had received three coded warnings. But he said the calls were very confusing.

"They said there was a bomb within the distance of some mile along the Antrim Road. That was checked out," Mr Kelly said.

"In a second phone call, they said it was somewhere on the Antrim Road and in the third phone call it has been narrowed down to somewhere around the Glandore area.

"They said in their latest phone call it was in a dangerous condition. We need to know where that is so that something can be done about it."

On Wednesday night, there was a security alert on the Ballymena Road in Carnlough, County Antrim, following the discovery of a pipe bomb.

There was also an alert in Larne, after the discovery of a suspicious object at The Roddens. This was later declared a hoax.

Meanwhile in a separate development, police investigating dissident republican activity in County Tyrone have arrested a man.

The 48-year-old was detained in Strabane on Wednesday morning.

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