Ardoyne bomb: police say it was 'substantial and viable'

image captionPolice sealed off Jamaica Street while army bomb experts made the bomb safe

A "substantial and viable" bomb has been made safe by army bomb experts in north Belfast.

More than 30 houses were evacuated on Thursday after police found the object at the back of a house in a search in Jamaica Street in Ardoyne.

It is not clear whether the device had been left in order to target the security forces, or whether it was being prepared to be used elsewhere.

Ch Insp Andrew Freeburn said the device was "intended to murder."

He said: "Once again the community of north Belfast have been disrupted and the lives of residents put at risk by an element intent on causing as much loss of life and disruption as they can.

"The people who carried this out showed a callous disregard for the lives of everyone in our community.

"This is a residential area and we could have been looking at serious tragedy here."


Ch Insp Freeburn thanked people for their patience during the security operation.

Residents were out of their homes for several hours but have now returned.

"I am sure the residents in the area and the wider public will be just as angry as I am about this discovery," he said.

"They have every right to be outraged however, what we need now is information about who left the device there in the first place."

The BBC's Andy Martin in Belfast says Ardoyne is a predominantly republican area of the city in which there are significant numbers of dissident republicans, including members of Oglaigh na hEireann which security forces have described as the most dangerous of the dissident factions.

Sinn Fein councillor Gerard McCabe condemned those who had shown no regard for the local community.

"This was a ludicrous act for anyone to leave a device somewhere where an innocent person could be seriously hurt or even killed," he said.

"It has caused a massive disruption for the people of the lower part of Ardoyne."

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