A SECURITY alert which entered its third day in County Fermanagh over a suspected beer keg bomb was an “elaborate hoax”.
A “beer keg with wires sticking out of it” had been examined by the Army bomb squad over nearly three days.
The Clogh Road near Rosslea had been closed to traffic after a suspicious object was found on Tuesday night.
Police have carried out searches for possible boob-trap or secondary devices in the area.
It is believed to be located at Clogh Church of Ireland church which is close to the border with the Republic.
Diversions have been in place and motorists are asked to avoid the area.
A number of homes have been evacuted in the area.
The area is now cleared and families evacuated are being allowed to return to their homes.
District Commander Ch Supt Pauline Shields said she recognised the inconvenience the policing operation may cause to residents however, she said her priority “was to ensure the safety of the local community and to protect everyone”.
She said had police been dealing with a viable device there could have been “devastating consequences.”
“Once again our community has been disrupted and the lives of residents put at risk by a cowardly element intent on causing as much disruption as they can.
“This complex operation has tied up resources in this local area, with officers who should be out serving the local community, delivering the community policing the people in this area want,” she added.
UUP MLA Tom Elliott said those behind this latest alert and the bomb last week were “enemies of the community” in Fermanagh.
He said the alert was causing “major disruption” in the area.
“Along with wanting to kill and injure, those republican terrorists also wish to cause as much disruption to the community as possible,” said the former UUP leader.
Last Saturday, a 60 kg beer keg left in an abandoned car was defused by Army technical officers.
The viable device was made safe by Army technical officers in the Derrylin Road area at around 11am on Saturday.
It followed a major security operation which began in the early hours of Friday forcing people to evacuated from their homes.
Army Technical Officers carried out a clearance operation on the suspicious vehicle and a viable device, which could have “killed or seriously injured”, was made safe.
Police said early investigations suggest the car bomb was destined for Lisnaskea PSNI station.
Oglaigh na hEireann say car bomb was destined for G8 Summit hotel in Fermanagh
However, dissident republican terror group Oglaigh na hEireann issued (ONH) a statement to the Guardian newspaper and UTV saying the planned attack was the hotel at the Lough Erne Golf Resort which is due to host the G8 Summit this June.
District Commander Pauline Shields said: “Once again our community has been disrupted and the lives of residents put at risk by an element intent on causing loss of life and disruption.
“The people responsible for this have no regard for the lives of anyone in our community. It is fortunate that no-one was killed or seriously injured as a result of this reckless act.
“The people who carried out this act are not part of the society within which the majority of people of Northern Ireland wish to live.
“The subsequent complex operation has tied up resources that would otherwise be dealing with community issues. We would thank members of the public for their co-operation and patience during this clearance operation.”
The Police Federation, which representes rank and file PSNI officers, also condemned those behind the bomb.
“These cowardly thugs still don’t get it. Terrorism will never succeed,” said the Federation.
Last week, a mortar bomb was defused in west Belfast.
The device had been left on derelict ground in Ballygomartin and police believe the device failed to explode.
Detectives believe the device was to be used in an attack on New Barnsley PSNI station.
In its statement, ONH also admitted being behind the failed mortar attack on New Barnsley Police Station and issued a picture of the device.