A SECURITY alert in south Belfast has ended and been declared an elaborate hoax.
Police were forced evacuate 50 people from their homes during the alert at Welsh Street in the Markets district close to Belfast city centre.
Local Sinn Fein councillor Deirdre Hargey said the alert was sparked after residents spotted what looked like a pipe bomb device at the rear of some houses.
Army technical officers were tasked to the scene and after several hours declared the object was a hoax.
Most of the residents stayed with friends and neighbours during the alert.