PIPE BOMBS A NORTH E WEST BELFAST

Pipe bombs found during city alerts (UTV)

Two viable pipe bombs have been found in north and west Belfast, police have said.

The devices were discovered in the Brae Hill Link area near the Crumlin Road in the north of the city, and at Old Brewery Lane area near the Glen Road in the west shortly after 9am on Monday.

Army bomb experts examined the devices, which have been taken away for forensic examination.

The roads have reopened to traffic after the alert ended.

Detectives are investigating a link between the incidents. They have appealed to anyone who witnessed suspicious activity or anyone with any information to contact them.

Meanwhile four men have been arrested in connection with a separate security alert which closed the M1 motorway in Belfast on Monday morning.

A suspicious object was examined before being declared an elaborate hoax.

The four suspects, two aged 26, one 25 and one 53, were stopped in a car on the Andersonstown Road, near the M1.

Detectives from Serious Crime Branch are questioning the men at Antrim Serious Crime Suite.

Police also searched a number of properties in west Belfast as part of the ongoing investigation.

The M1 motorway reopened in both directions following the security operation, which began shortly before 4am.

Local SDLP councillor Claire Hanna said the alerts, along with one in Finaghy last week, have caused major disruption.

“Coming on the back of Finaghy at teatime on Thursday and Friday, whoever is at this it looks like (the alerts) are designed for maximum chaos, hitting key transport hubs at rush hour,” she said.

“So it’s disrupted not only residents but also the wider population, commuters people travelling into the city centre and the city hospital.”

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