BBC

The first minister said those behind a series of security alerts in Belfast on Monday were “beneath contempt”.


A number of vehicles have been hijacked and set alight across Belfast

North Queen Street is closed due to an alert at a police station. Hillview Road in the Oldpark area is closed.

King’s Way in Dunmurry has been reopened as far as Upper Dunmurry Lane, but the area around the police station remains closed.

The M1 city-bound is closed at Lurgan because of an abandoned vehicle which the police believe was hijacked.

The Upper Springfield Road in Belfast is now passable after a fire in a hijacked lorry was put out.

Tennant Street, Blacks Roads, Stewartstown Road, Andersonstown Road and Upper Newtownards Road in the city have been reopened.

The alerts at Tennant Street and Woodbourne police stations have been declared hoaxes, as has an alert at the Stormont Hotel.

A van which was burnt out close to Holy Cross church on the Crumlin Road in Belfast is also causing disruption, the police said.

There are reports that two cars have been hijacked in the Kilwilkie area of Lurgan, which police have advised motorists to avoid.

‘Destabilise’

Peter Robinson said those responsible would not succeed in “dragging Northern Ireland backwards”.

“The criminal terrorists responsible for the series of bomb scares and hijackings have no support whatsoever in the community,” he said.

“Those who would try to destabilise and destroy Northern Ireland will fail. We won’t be going back.”

Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast, Carál Ní Chuilín, said they had “no strategy”.

“These actions are wrong and counterproductive to anything that our communities want,” she added.

“I would like the spokespeople of those behind these alerts to come forward and explain how this will in any way achieve a united Ireland.”

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey said the disruption was caused by “republican elements who are determined to pursue their warped campaign regardless of the cost”.

“As this is yet another test for our community, I appeal again for people to remain calm and not under any circumstances to retaliate.”

East Belfast Alliance MLA Naomi Long said the hoax alerts were “despicable”.

“These micro groups can not and will not be allowed to de-rail the progress made in recent years,” she said.

“I would urge anybody with any information about any of these security alerts to contact the police.”

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