Device under soldier’s car ‘not explosive’

The Scene at Corbacky Road, Portadown, on Friday afternoon where a suspect device was found attached to a car.
The Scene at Corbacky Road, Portadown, on Friday afternoon where a suspect device was found attached to a car.

An object found under the car of a soldier in Northern Ireland was not an explosive, police have said.

A security alert triggered on Friday evening in Portadown, Co Armagh, saw Army bomb disposal officers deployed and a number of houses evacuated near the scene of the discovery.

PSNI

PSNI

But police have now said the item recovered was not explosive. Evacuated residents have been able to return to their homes.

PSNI superintendent Simon Walls said: “While police are keeping an open mind the item is not believed to be suspicious.

“Although this incident caused disruption to local residents, my colleagues and I are committed to keeping people safe and this operation proves that this is our upmost priority.”

It is understood a controlled explosion was carried out on the item which was discovered beneath the female soldier’s car.

A number of houses in the rural Corbracky Road area were evacuated while the army bomb disposal experts moved in to examine the device.

Before the device was confirmed not to be explosive, suspicion had been falling on dissident republicans; police had warned they intended to step up their campaign.

Upper Bann MP David Simpson said: “This is very alarming news from the PSNI this evening and my thoughts are with the individual who is dealing with this very distressing situation. This is a serving female member of the Army.

“This incident reminds us that a small group of people remain dedicated to dragging Northern Ireland backwards.”