Suspect packages intercepted

A least one package was found at Royal Mail's main sorting office

Eight suspicious packages addressed to members of the Policing Board and the Police Ombudsman have been discovered by Royal Mail staff.

Seven of the packages were intercepted at Northern Ireland's main sorting office at Mallusk on Tuesday.

Another package was addressed to a politician's office in Coleraine, where post office staff raised the alarm.

The police said all of the packages contained powder, which is now being examined.

Other packages were mailed to addresses in Belfast, Scarva, Larne and Newtownards.

A spokesman said the powder is not thought to pose a "credible risk".

A Policing Board spokeswoman confirmed that at least one of the parcels was sent to its headquarters in Belfast.

Letter bombs

"We have been informing members to be vigilant about any mail as a precautionary measure but we have been advised that they are hoaxes," she said.

A Police Ombudsman spokesman said: "We are aware of the packages. The police are keeping us informed of the situation."

In July, dissident republicans were blamed for five letter bombs intercepted at the Mallusk office.

One of the devices was addressed to the governor of Maghaberry Prison in County Antrim.

Four devices were sent to district policing partnership members in the north west.

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