FAMILIES were forced to evacuate from their homes in north Belfast in an overnight security alert.
Police raised the alarm after a suspicious object was found in Silverstream Avenue at Ballysillan.
As a result, evacuated families had to take refuge in Ballysillan Leisure Centre while Army technical officers examined the object.
However, after several hours the ATO described the object as a hoax. It has been retrieved for forensic examination.
Families were allowed to return home around 5 am.
It was the fourth alert police and the ATO had to deal with in Belfast in 24 hours.
Two lethal pipe bombs were made safe during security alerts in north and west Belfast on Monday.
Police said the viable bombs were found at Brae Hill Link in north Belfast and Old Brewery Lane, off the Glen Road in west Belfast on Monday.
In north Belfast, around 30 families have been evacuated from their homes at Brae Hill Link in the Ballysillan area of the Crumlin Road.
A local community centre was made available to residents evacuated from their homes.
Both areas were closed as Army bomb experts examined the scenes and defused them.
The pipe bombs have been taken away for forensic examination.
Detectives are investigating a possible link between the two incidents.
The alerts are now over and the roads have been re-opened.
Meanwhile, anti-terror cops arrested four dissident republican suspects on Monday following a hoax bomb alert on the M1 motorway.
The motorway was closed on Monday morning for a time between Belfast and Lisburn after a suspicious object was found on the Kennedy Way offslip.
The alert started around 4 am.
Four men – two aged 26, one 53 and a 25-year-old – were arrested after police swooped on a car on the Andersonstown Road.
Police said the men were being questioned at the serious crime suite in Antrim by detectives from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch investigating “dissident republican activity”.