Viable device discovered following security alert in Magherafelt
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Police said the item removed from the Leckagh Drive area of Magherafelt has been taken away for further examination.
A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police received a report shortly after 9.35am on Friday November 17 of a suspicious object located at the front of a property in the area.
“The object, which has been declared as a viable device, has been removed and taken away for further forensic examinations.
“A number of homes in the area were evacuated as officers conducted a public safety operation in the area.
“Residents have now returned to their homes and police would like to thank everyone for their understanding.”
Magherafelt DUP Councillor Paul McLean told the News Letter that the device was "a complete mystery" to the local community.
"Everyone is at a loss to know who might have left it or why," he said. "There are no tensions in the estate, which is mainly unionist."
There were no obvious signs that the device was targetted at anyone from a security force or paramilitary background.
It had been left in someone's garden. The PSNI are very keen to hear any information from the local community on what may be behind it, he added.
SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone said the alert had caused significant disruption in the town.
He said: “Residents have been unexpectedly forced from their homes and there are a number of families and older people living in Leckagh Drive.
“This area is close to a number of shops and leisure centres and people’s days will be impacted by the road restrictions in place.
“People in communities across the north are sick and tired of their lives being disrupted by security alerts.
“I would urge anyone with any information about this incident to come forward to police and assist them with their enquiries.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 381 17/11/23.