NORTH Belfast DUP MLA Paula Bradley has condemned those responsible for a planting a lethal device on Monday in Newtownabbbey.
She said those behind the latest bomb threat could have killed or seriously injured a member of public.
The device was discovered in the Cherrylands area of Doagh Road, Newtownabbey, near to the former Nortel communications plant.
The deadly object was discovered shortly after 6.00am and local residents were forced to flee their homs and roads in the area were closed.
It also caused major disruption to commuters heading to work and children going to school.
Army technical officers carried out a controlled explosion on the device and police declared it was ‘viable’.
The security alert was cleared around 11 am with evacuated residents allowed to return to their homes.
Police believe the device was the work of so-called ‘renegade’ loyalists in the area who have been behind a spate of ‘viable devices’ and hoax alerts in recent months.
Paula Bradley MLA lashed out at those behind the bomb terror faced by residents in Cherrylands/Cloughfern and Doagh Road.
“Those responsible for preparing and planting this device caused great anxiety for residents evacuated from their homes at such an early time of the morning and inconvenience for the wider public,” said the DUP politician.
“That anxiety will be intensified by the confirmation by the PSNI that it was deemed to be a viable explosive device.
“It is deeply shocking that such a device was deliberately placed in a densely populated residential area.
“This was a vile and entirely reckless attack which could have resulted in serious or fatal injuries for any person nearby, had it exploded.
“Local people are sick, sore and tired of the planting of suspect devices in Newtownabbey over recent months.
“In some cases these have been deemed to be viable devices which have put the public at risk of serious injury or death.
“In other cases they have been deliberate hoaxes which have nonetheless cause great anxiety and nuisance for residents and disruption for traffic and local businesses.
“No-one has the right to impose such danger and disruption on others. We cannot allow such thuggish and potentially lethal behaviour to continue.
” Those responsible should know that their tactics and their agenda are rejected by the vast majority of society and there will be no tolerance of their crimes.”
She said the local community was grateful for the police and Army technical officers in making the area and the device safe
“I also commend Newtownabbey Borough Council who made the Valley Leisure Centre available for families evacuated from their homes.
“I appeal for anyone who knows anything which would assist the police to catch those responsible to pass that information on without delay, either directly to the PSNI on 0845 6008000 or anonymously to the Crimestoppers line on 0800 555111.
“They should recognise that the incident on Monday morning could have caused death or serious injury and that by passing on information they could help protect the public from such danger in the future,” she added.