Northern Ireland

Carnfunnock Country Park: 'Terrorist hide' including bomb parts and explosives found

Police said bomb making components and explosives were found in the country park Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Police said bomb making components and explosives were found in the country park

Police have said they have uncovered a "significant terrorist hide" containing bomb making components and explosives at a County Antrim country park.

The haul was found at Carnfunnock in Ballygally near Larne.

It was discovered after a member of the public reported a suspicious object to police on Saturday afternoon.

Later on Sunday, a number of people were moved from their homes in the Gelvin Gardens area of Londonderry due to a security alert.

Police said it followed the discovery of a suspicious object. There are no more details at this stage.

On Saturday, two explosive devices were found in separate alerts in west Belfast.

One was at Ramoan Drive and the other at Glencolin Walk. The Belfast alerts have now ended.

That followed an incident on Friday, when a bomb exploded under a prison officer's van in east Belfast.

After the incident in east Belfast, police said they were concerned dissident republicans in Northern Ireland wanted to kill members of the security forces in the run up to the centenary of the Easter Rising.

These comments were echoed by the Police Federation for Northern Ireland on Sunday.

Police said on Sunday that a number of small plastic barrels had been buried in a wooded area in the country park in Ballygally.

They said that inside the barrels "was a significant amount of bomb making components including partially constructed devices and a small quantity of explosives".

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption They said they were found inside a number of small plastic barrels

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Det Ch Insp Gillian Kearney said: "All of these items will be subjected to a detailed forensic examination.

"Until this has been completed, it is too early to link these items to any particular grouping, but we are following a number of lines of enquiry.

"I would ask the public to remain vigilant, wherever they are and whatever they are doing.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Carnfunnock Country Park was closed for a number of hours

"If people report suspicious activity to police, we will act on it to keep people safe.

"We apologise that the park will remain closed for some time while a full clearance operation is carried out, but I hope people will understand the need to put public safety first."

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson said those who had hidden the bomb making components and explosives had no regard for life.

The police operation at the country park ended shortly after 17:00 GMT on Sunday.

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