House residents allowed home after 'viable device' removed from street


Homeowners have been allowed back into their houses after police removed a "viable device" from a residential street in Belfast.

Specialist officers were called to Ramoan Drive, in the south west part of the city, after a suspicious object sparked a security alert lasting more than four hours.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Inspector Mark Cavanagh said: "ATO (ammunition technical officers) examined a suspicious object and declared it a viable device. It has been taken away for further examination.

"Evacuated residents have been allowed back into their homes."

The alert was declared over at around 3pm.

The incident comes a day after a prison guard was injured in a bomb attack in the east of the city.

The 52-year-old prison officer, a married father of three, required surgery after an explosive device detonated under the van he was driving to work on Friday morning. His condition is described as stable.

Police commanders have expressed fears it may be the first of a number of dissident republican murder bids launched to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.

PSNI assistant chief constable Stephen Martin said he was extremely concerned about an upsurge in dissident activity ahead of the forthcoming 100th anniversary of the republican rebellion against British rule in Dublin.