A pipe-bomb device found in a garden in West Belfast yesterday has been described by police as “crude but viable”.
A number of homes were evacuated in Rodney Drive near the M1 after police arrived on the scene yesterday morning. A British army bomb disposal expert was called to the scene of the alert, which lasted for close to four hours and caused widespread disruption.
Police said in a statement: “An ATO (army technical officer) examined a suspicious object discovered in the area and declared it to be a crude but viable device.”
Local SDLP Councillor Tim Attwood said the lives of local people and police officers had been put in danger by the device.
“Those responsible for leaving this device have caused widespread disturbance and anxiety for residents who were forced from their homes this morning,” he said. “This was no hoax, this was a viable device and posed a serious threat to the public and to police as they worked to make the area safe.
“The continued endangering of life in this way for whatever shallow pseudo-political reasoning is completely unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Ciarán Beattie called on those responsible to “get off the back of this community”.
‘Those behind the leaving of this device in a garden at Rodney Drive have shown absolute disregard for this community,” he said. “Not only is a dangerous device left on a built-up residential street where it could have caused serious injury to anyone passing, but the residents of the street have also had to be evacuated, disrupting their lives. These actions are unacceptable. Those responsible need to get off the back of this community.”