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RNU blame ‘spooks’ for bomb alert

By Francesca Ryan

REPUBLICAN Network for Unity have blamed “British spookery” for a security alert in West Belfast.

The party leafleted homes in the district following a scare in the Springfield area last week which saw people evacuated from their homes. The leaflet claims that the PSNI are working with MI5 to create disruption in the area through a number of alerts.

A spokesman for RNU said the alerts are aimed at encouraging people to believe “dissident republicans” are to blame.

“On Wednesday families were forced to leave their homes and local businesses were forced to close after the RUC/PSNI along with the British Army sparked a ‘security alert’ claiming a ‘suspicious object’ was in the area,” he said.

“The incident saw a huge policing operation take place, closing off a section of the Falls Road which was covered in the mainstream and local media. Inevitably the situation encouraged people to believe that so called ‘dissident republicans’ were responsible. Now the facts have emerged – yet again the RUC/PSNI fabricated a situation for the sole purpose of disrupting the daily activities of people from West Belfast.

“We call on people to examine the incident and question who was actually behind it. In the past it has been proved that the PSNI in conjunction with MI5 agents have been tasked with creating hoax alerts in order to arouse confusion, anger and bad feeling towards republicans within working class communities. RNU encourage the wider community to keep an open mind on any future events and refuse to be influenced by British spookery.”

Last week’s alert was later declared by the PSNI as “nothing untoward”.

Meanwhile, a further alert on Monday which saw the Westlink closed was declared an “elaborate hoax”. The security scare in Cullingtree Road (right) saw an Army Technical Officer attend the scene of the device and, following a clearance operation, the device was confirmed as an elaborate hoax. Chief Inspector Anthony McNally, Area Commander for West Belfast, is appealing for information.

“Our response to today’s security alert consisted of partnership working on a number of fronts,” he said. “Firstly, a Major Incident Traffic Plan was put into operation to work with colleagues in the Department for Regional Development’s Roads Service to help keep traffic disruption to a minimum.

“Secondly, our partnership working with the local community led to the opening of the Divis Community Centre which was made available to a number of residents in the local area who had to be evacuated from their homes during the alert. I would therefore like to thank both local residents and the community centre for their assistance, patience and understanding during this time. I also want to reassure the wider community that we remain focused on keeping people safe. I would appeal to anyone who was in the area of Cullingtree Road this morning and saw any unusual activity to contact local police by phoning the non-emergency number, 101.”

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