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Trio arrested after explosive device find released ‘unconditionally’

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Trio arrested after explosive device find released ‘unconditionally’ thumbnailPart of the security operation

THREE men including a pensioner arrested by detectives in connection with the discovery of a 'viable explosive device' in a local housing estate have been released.

The PSNI confirmed that the trio - aged 43, 45 and 77 - who had been arrested under the Terrorism Act were released from Musgrave Serious Crime Suite in Belfast late on Monday night 'unconditionally'.

People arrested under The Terrorism Act must be charged, released pending report to the Public Prosecution Service or released unconditionally ly - bail is not permitted under this legislation.

"Interviews under arrest are a key part of all investigative strategies and the police service is committed to following all lines of enquiry to keep our communities safe from those who would seek to cause serious harm," a PSNI spokesperson added.

The men were arrested following a secuirty operation and the subsequent discovery of the explosive at a property in Drumrallagh Estate on Sunday.

Police cordons were thrown up and army bomb experts were tasked to the area around lunchtime.

The street was closed and 10 homes were evacuated as army bomb experts dealt with the object.

The operation lasted several hours and concluded after 4pm.

Searches

The PSNI said the discovery followed three house searches in the area in connection with dissident republican activity.

The police officer leading the investigation into Sunday's discovery said those responsible for what he described as a "viable explosive device" had put the local community in danger.

He did not give any further details about the device but said it had been taken away for further examination.

"Firstly, I would like to thank the local residents for their patience whilst this operation was ongoing," he said.

"It is beyond belief that terrorists have stored a bomb in the heart of one of our communities.

"Fortunately this device was found and made safe before it could cause any harm, however, it clearly shows the intent of those individuals to kill or seriously injure.

"They have absolutely no regard for the safety of local residents in the Drumrallagh area.

"People involved in hiding bombs want to cause harm, they don't care who gets killed or injured, and their desire to pursue violence and create more victims, has to be challenged.

"The items that have been recovered were going to be used to inflict harm on our community. The people involved don't care who is a victim - a child, a mother a father, a sister, brother, granny or granddad.

"If you have any information about this incident, please play your part in making our communities safer, and share what you know.

"You can do this anonymously by ringing Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or you can contact police on 101," Superintendent McCalmont added.

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