Northern Ireland

New Lodge, Belfast: 1.5kg of explosives found at flats

There was said to be enough explosives to make three under-car booby-trap bombs Image copyright PSNI
Image caption There was said to be enough explosives to make three under-car booby-trap bombs

One and a half kilograms of what is believed to be Semtex plastic explosive have been found at a block of flats in north Belfast.

Police said it was discovered at Maeve House in the New Lodge area on Monday after a report from a member of the public.

Army bomb disposal experts were called to the scene and the suspected explosives taken away.

The explosives are said to be enough to make three under-car booby-trap bombs.

Justice Minister Claire Sugden said she had been briefed about the "worrying find".

"Those responsible really do have no regard for public safety and they do not conduct anything with care - their intent is to cause havoc and unfortunately this can cause injury or killing," she said.

"I find it incomprehensible that this material was found in a residential area."

'Hugely relieved'

Image caption It is the second time in two years that explosives have been found in Maeve House

Det Insp Stuart Griffin said considerable inconvenience had been caused to residents and he thanked them for their co-operation.

"Thankfully these suspected explosives are no longer in the public domain," he added.

The find comes two years after a similar discovery at Maeve House.

Image copyright Psni
Image caption Army bomb disposal experts were called to the scene and the suspected explosives taken away.

Two and a half kilos of the explosive was found in a cupboard at the building in May 2014.

Speaking about the latest seizure, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said he was "hugely relieved and delighted that these explosives have been recovered and made safe".

"I'm disappointed but not surprised that there are still people within our society who believe that they have the right to attempt to point us all back to the past through attempts to kill people," he told the BBC's Good Morning Ulster.