A DEVICE that triggered a security alert and forced people from their homes in west Belfast has been declared viable.
Police and ordnance technicians attended the parade grounds in Norglen on Tuesday after a suspicious object was found.
The alert ended and a PSNI spokesperson said a viable device had been removed for further examination.
The cordons were lifted and the inhabitants evacuated from their homes were able to return.
SDLP West Belfast representative Paul Doherty said: “I don’t understand what would motivate anyone to place a viable device in a residential area where a large number of people live.
“Given the proximity of this device to homes, we are fortunate that it did not go off and cause serious injury to anyone.
“I urge anyone involved in these kinds of incidents to stop immediately.
“This security alert has forced residents to evacuate their homes, during a period of very hot weather and has caused significant disruption to the local community who just want to get on with their lives. Those behind this act need to reflect on the impact they have on people.
“I received a number of calls last night from families of asylum seekers and refugees who were scared by what happened and the resulting large police operation in the area. We We need to see an end to these kinds of incidents in our community before they have tragic consequences.”
Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey criticized those responsible.
“I condemn those responsible, they disrupted residents who had to leave their homes and showed no respect for the local community,” he said.
“There is no support for these actions at the local level and officials need to move away from this community. I urge anyone with information to contact the police.”