WEST BELFAST SECURITY ALERT AN ‘ELABORATE HOAX’

Thompson House pipe bombA security alert in west Belfast has ended but motorists are facing traffic hell as roads start to re-open.

The Westlink in Belfast has now been re-opened following the security alert.

It was closed following the discovery of a suspicious object at Cullingtree Road in west Belfast.

Army technical officers told police that it was an ‘elaborate hoax’.

A number of homes were evacuated while the device was examined..

Although the alert is now over, motorists are facing long delays on the Falls Road, Shaftesbury Square, Great Victoria Street and Howard Street.

The police have advised people to use the Grosvenor Road on-slip to leave the city or the outer ring towards Stockman’s Lane.

The Divis Communuity Centre offered shelter for those whose homes were evacuated.

Sinn Féin MLA Fra McCann condemned the planting of the device.

He said: “Those responsible for this type of disruption have nothing nothing to offer the community.

“I and others are working on a daily basis to tackle decades of deprivation and underfunding in west Belfast,” he said.

“Actions like these do not improve the situation in any way and only add to the problems. This needs to sttop,”

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