Police are appealing for information following a security alert.
A report of a suspicious object found in the Ashgrove Road area of Newry city was made to police at around 3:30pm yesterday afternoon, Saturday, February 20.
Police and ATO attended the scene, and ATO carried out a controlled explosion. At this time, it is believed to have been a viable device.
Newry, Mourne & Down District Commander, Superintendent Norman Haslett said:
“As part of our public safety operation, a number of homes were evacuated. Some of the residents affected made use of the local leisure centre, as facilitated by the local Council.
“As of this time, most of the families have returned home and any roads closed have reopened.
“Our enquiries are continuing and we are working to establish who is responsible for what can only be described as a reckless act.
“This device could easily have detonated, or have been picked up by anyone, including children. Someone could have suffered serious injury.
“As we continue with our investigation, I want to thank everyone inconvenienced by the alert. In particular, I want to thank the 15 families who had to leave their homes as we worked to make the scene safe.”
Superintendent Haslett is appealing to anyone who has information which could help the police investigation to call 101 and quote reference number 1114 of 20/02/21.
A report can also be submitted via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.