Northern Ireland

Police confirm second bomb found in north Belfast alert

Police have confirmed two bombs were found in the security alert on the Antrim Road in north Belfast.

They said a second viable device, found behind a scout hall, was made safe on Thursday afternoon.

On Wednesday, police said a bomb found outside a shop earlier this week was an "anti-personnel device" designed to kill people.

Police have said parts of the Antrim Road will remain closed until after Thursday evening's rush hour.

However, they have said they will work to allow people who have been moved from their homes to return before then.

About 50 families spent a second night out of their homes on Wednesday.

Chief Superintendent Mark Hamilton said making sure the area was safe was a "slow, methodical, painstaking process".

"I wouldn't have taken the steps I have taken if I didn't believe there was an enormous risk, firstly to members of the public and then to my staff.

"There's been people in this community who have deliberately planted a bomb in this area and their only purpose was to murder people.

"Then you add to that the recklessness of leaving a device in an unstable condition which could have exploded."

On Wednesday, Chief Supt Hamilton said police officers had been called to an Xtravision shop on Sunday night.

"One line of inquiry is that perhaps this bomb was in place on Sunday night for those police officers, to kill them as they went about their business," he said.

Image caption A number of controlled explosions were carried out on a car

"The first call we got was on Monday afternoon and it was some 24 hours later before we got sufficient information to bring us to the Xtravision, to try and go forward and search for this bomb and make it safe."

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

The alert, which is close to Antrim Road police station, began after a series of calls claiming to be from dissident republican group Oglaigh na hEireann.

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