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Co Antrim security alert ends with ATO removing pipe bombs which were left on vehicles

All photos: Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

Life is returning to normal for residents in the rural villages of Dervock and Derrykeighan, after a security alert ended this evening.

An alert was raised when three potentially ‘viable devices’ were discovered this morning left on vehicles in the area. Police and Army ATO officers attended the scene with the operation continuing for most of the day.

Commenting on the significant disruption caused in Dervock today, District Commander Superintendent Ian Magee said: “This was clearly a deliberate effort to cause fear and intimidation at a time when families are doing their best during a global pandemic and in the run up to Christmas.  

“Families and older and more vulnerable people were forced to leave their homes while officers and military personnel worked to ensure the area was safe for them to return. We can confirm that the three devices had the potential to be viable and have been removed for further examination.

“It is clear that the vast majority of people in this community want to get on with their lives in peace. While we will continue to provide a policing service to the people of Dervock I am calling on local representatives to use their influence to prevent further incidents.”

Superintendent Magee continued: “Anyone with any information about these devices is asked to contact us on 101. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime. If anyone in the Dervock community has any concerns please ring 101, dial 999 in an emergency, or speak with your local Neighbourhood officers."

North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey has expressed his concern at the discovery of the three devices in Dervock and Derrykeighan.

North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey

Commenting Mr Storey said: “This is yet another extremely worrying development. The placing of pipe bombs at someone's home cannot be condoned in anyway, this is reckless and could have lead to someone being seriously injured or even worse. “No cause is served by this type of action. “I would appeal to those involved in this attack and others that have happened in recent times to step back form all of this activity before someone looses their life. I would also appeal for anyone with information in relation to the incident to assist the police in bringing those responsible to justice. “I am saddened to see a community being affected by this type of activity."