Northern Ireland

Rocket launcher and warhead seized

Hawthorn Street
Image caption Residents were moved out of their homes while the police and Army recovered the weapons

Police have recovered a rocket launcher and what they have described as a warhead in west Belfast.

They said the search was carried out as part of an investigation into dissident republican terrorism.

The weapons were found at the property in Hawthorn Street on Monday evening

A PSNI spokesman said: "These weapons systems are clearly intended to kill and we should be in no doubt that the recovery of these items has saved lives."

A number of homes were evacuated while Army bomb disposal officers examined the weapons.

The residents have now been allowed to return to their homes and the items been taken away for further examination.

SDLP councillor Colin Keenan, who lives in Hawthorn Street, said local people were "shocked" that such weapons had been found in their area.

He said it was a "significant find" and he commended the police for making the discovery.

Mr Keenan said up to ten houses had been evacuated and residents were given shelter in a nearby parish hall during the operation.

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