NORTH Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds has described the recent series of viable and hoax devices planted in the Newtownabbey area as “the actions of cowardly and dangerous fanatics and the enemies of peace”.
In the latest incidents at the weekend, devices described as “crude but viable” were left outside St Mary’s on the Hill Catholic Church on Carnmoney Road and outside a supermarket on the Doagh Road.
A hoax device resulted in a security alert on the O’Neill Road.
The MP said: “The planting of these devices in Newtownabbey has occurred with alarming and depressing regularity over the past six weeks.
“These incidents must be brought to an end. They serve no purpose other than to cause terror, danger and disruption for local people.
“Transporting and planting an explosive device in a public place is entirely reckless.
“Those responsible show no concern for the lives of anyone who would inadvertently be caught by the explosion.
“These are the actions of cowardly and dangerous fanatics and the enemies of peace.”
He added that the planting of hoax devices is “no less a serious act of criminality”.
“Every security alert has caused massive disruption for residents forced from their homes, for people affected by road closures and for businesses losing vital trade.
“Of particular concern has been those people requiring medical attention in their own home or at hospital, who have been put at risk.
“During the past six weeks several devices have been left near to shops and roads in the Cloughfern Corner / Doagh Road area and a hoax device was planted outside the home of Newtownabbey DUP Councillors Billy and Audrey Ball.
“Devices have been left at Roman Catholic churches at Shore Road and Glengormley.
“In the nearby Whitewell area of North Belfast we have had the explosion of a blast bomb at the front door of a house in White City, injuring a woman and two family pet dogs and the placing of a pipe bomb outside the offices of Greater Whitewell Community Surgery on Shore Road.
“It is apparent that different devices have come from both Loyalist and Republican sources.
“Whatever motivation they have, those responsible have no right to act in this criminal and life-threatening manner.
“They need to listen to the rejection of their actions by the vast majority of people in Newtownabbey and North Belfast.
“I would urge the entire local community to unite in opposition to these attacks on law and order.
“I appeal, in the strongest possible terms, for anyone who knows who is responsible for any of these incidents to play their part in bringing them to an end.”
Mr Dodds urged anyone with information to contact police on 0845 600 8000 or anonymously via the Crimestoppers line on 0800 555111.