ARMY Technical Officers have defused a bomb during a security alert in north Belfast.
It is understood that a small device was thrown at a number of men as they walked along Jamaica Street in the Ardoyne area around 2.30 pm.
The device failed to explode and the police sealed off the area while the ATO was tasked to the scene.
A number of roads were closed to traffic during the security operation and several families were evacuated from their homes.
While the ATO sent in a robot to examine the device, the PSNI deployed a remote-controlled drone to take aerial footage from the sky above the scene.
The device was later made safe which police described as a “small viable device”.
It is believed to be the first time the PSNI has used such a device in an operational capacity since the G8 summit in June at the Lough Erne Hotel resort in Co Fermanagh.
In a statement, the PSNI said that during the alert “a limited aerial capability was required in order to keep the community, police and Army officers safe”.
“The police service obtained approval to purchase Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) earlier this year,” the statement added.
“These systems are flown in accordance with Civil Aviation Authority approval.
“The use of an Unmanned Aerial System assisted in this clearance operation and minimised disruption to the local community by bringing the incident to a safe and satisfactory conclusion.”