A SUSPECT explosive device found at a house in west Belfast on Tuesday night was a rocket launcher and warhead, it has been revealed.
The Police Federation praised Army technical officers for making safe the warhead and for police in finding the devices saying they had done a “superb” job in protecting life.
The PSNI said police in west Belfast attended a security alert in the Hawthorn Street area following the discovery of a suspect explosive device at a house.
It followed an investigation by police into dissident republican activity in west Belfast.
The probe was carried out by detectives from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch following a tip-off to its intelligence unit, C3, formerly Special Branch.
A PSNI spokesperson said: “These weapons systems are clearly intended to kill and we should be in no doubt that the recovery of these items has saved lives.”
Earlier this month, three men were arrested by Gardai in Tipperary transporting rocket launchers.
Gardai believed the rocket launchers were destined for attacks in Northern Ireland.
The street had been closed and a number of evacuations of homes have taken place.
Army technical officers were tasked to the scene to examine the device.
The area has now re-opened and residents have been allowed to return to their homes.