Pipe bomb found on track

The alerts caused widespread roads disruption

A pipe bomb fitted with a timer has been found on the railway line at Sydenham in east Belfast.

A second device found on the tracks was declared a hoax. The line is still closed, but the Sydenham bypass is open.

Security alerts on Friday caused widespread travel problems for commuters in the greater Belfast area.

Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland said those who left the devices had "disregarded" the risks to human life and property.

Suspect devices at Holywood and Sydenham forced the closure of the Belfast to Bangor railway line and the police closed part of the busy Sydenham bypass to motorists heading into the city.

The alert at Holywood was later declared a hoax.

An earlier alert on the line at Whitehead in County Antrim was found to be a hoax.

A security alert on the railway line at Lambeg also caused problems, but was later declared a hoax.

Army bomb disposal experts checked for explosive devices at the various alerts.

"Clearly, we can't put our staff or passengers at risk and we have to take these things seriously."
Ciaran Rogan

There were no trains from Hilden, Lambeg, Derriaghy, Dunmurry or Finaghy. Passengers were taken by bus into Belfast from Bangor.

Passengers on the cross-border Enterprise service were bussed to Newry to board the train to Dublin, however the line has now reopened.

Ciaran Rogan of the transport company, Translink, said it had been a difficult morning for commuters.

"Clearly, transport of any sort is a fairly soft touch when it comes to phoning in these alerts," he said.

Passengers were bussed between train stations

"But really, we can't take any risks. History has shown us that one in 10 alerts we receive are actual packages or actual devices.

"Clearly, we can't put our staff or passengers at risk and we have to take these things seriously."

Meanwhile, Army technical officers examined a suspicious object found at the rear of a property at Portlee Walk in Antrim. It was later declared a hoax.

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