A life-saving device was found in East Belfast after residents were evacuated during a security alert

The security alert in East Belfast ended after police confirmed the discovery of a viable device.

The incident on Orby Drive resulted in up to 60 homes in the area being evacuated after the incident was reported at 2.30pm, and many moved to the nearby Craig Community Center, which was used as an emergency shelter.

Police said that at 7 pm residents were able to return home after the tests.

The alert led to condemnation by local political officials in the area.

Alliance adviser Michael Long said those behind the security alert “clearly have nothing to do with anyone else”.

Adviser Long added: “Those behind such devices do not represent anyone in the community and simply cause interference to locals.”

“I categorically condemn them because they clearly do not belong to anyone else. I am grateful that the locals are safe.

“I am grateful to the police and other authorities who have dealt with this situation. If anyone has information about the incident, I urge them to contact PSNI immediately. “

Simos de Faoitt, an SDLP adviser for Lisnashar, said: “This is the last thing residents want or need. No one wants to see this type of behavior in this area, and it interferes with people’s lives.”

DUP MLA Robin Newton reiterated these statements, adding: “Whatever the cause of this incident, it is important that all members of the public remain safe, fully cooperating with PSNI and other emergency services.”

Police described the incident as a “completely reckless act” and urged anyone with information to speak out.

PSNI inspector McNulty said: “Officers received a report that around 2.30pm a suspicious object was found near the property in the area.

“The facility, which was declared a viable device, was guarded by ammunition technicians. Since then, it has been taken out for further forensic examination.

“Some residents who were evacuated from their homes have now returned and we would like to thank those affected by this alert for their patience.

“Leaving viable explosive devices in a residential area is a completely reckless act and shows no relevance to the lives of people in the area.

“I would appeal to anyone who notices any suspicious activity in the Castle Road area, or to anyone who has any information that can help us with our inquiries, to contact the police at 101 with reference to 992 13/09/21.

“You can also file a report online using the immediate reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ or anonymously contact Crimestoppers at 0800 555 111 or online at http: // crimestoppers-uk .org /. “

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