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Residents allowed to return home after alert sparked by device aimed at ‘murdering police officers’

'Their reckless violence cannot be allowed to continue'

PSNI police van

A security alert in Tullygally Road, Craigavon, is ending.

A viable device has been taken away for further examination and an investigation is ongoing.

Those evacuated are now able to return to their homes after an operation sparked following a report of a loud bang in the Tullygally Road area at around midnight.

Chief Inspector Barney O Connor thanked the local community and community and elected representatives for their patience and support throughout this operation.

“Our investigation is ongoing and we would appeal for anyone who has information that may assist our enquiries to contact us in Lurgan on 101,” he added.

South Area Co-ordinator Chief Superintendent Peter Farrar condemned those responsible and appealed for information.

After reports of a bang, police were contacted by a Belfast based newspaper who reported that a call had been made to them claiming a device had been fired at a police patrol but had missed its target.

Said Chief Supt Farrar: “We responded to these two reports, along with ATO colleagues, and a suspicious object was located. A full security clearance operation was implemented.

“At this stage we believe the device is viable and that this was an attempt by dissident republican terrorists to murder police officers.

“We can confirm that there was no police patrol in the area at the time of the first report. We believe that this initial ‘loud bang’ may have been an attempt to lure police officers to the area. This will form part of our investigation.

“I cannot condemn strongly enough those behind this cowardly and despicable act of terrorism. They offer nothing to this community and their actions here do not reflect the wishes of the vast majority of the law abiding residents of this area.

“Huge disruption has been caused to the lives of those residents who live nearby with people being evacuated from their homes in the middle of the night and roads and streets subject to closure while we carried out this necessary security and search operation.

“Attacks on police and other security services are attacks on the entire community and they are an attack on our democracy.  Anyone willing to launch such an attack in a residential area cares little about our communities. Their reckless violence cannot be allowed to continue.

“There are people within our communities who know who did this. There are also people out there who know those who are members of terrorist groups.  My plea to all of those people is to tell us what they know and by doing so they will help to prevent this small minority dragging us back to the past.

“I would appeal to anyone who could assist our investigation and help us identify the perpetrators to please get in touch with us by calling 101, or by calling the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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