A ‘viable’ explosive device has been found in a housing estate in Dungiven, the PSNI has confirmed.
Inspector Michael McDonnell said: “Police are currently in attendance at a security alert in the Ard Na Smoll area of Dungiven following the discovery of a suspicious object. ATO attended the scene and have declared the object a viable device.
“A number of houses were evacuated.”
Inspector McDonnell, speaking shortly before 8am, said: “I would like to thank local residents for their patience during what has been a very disruptive night for them.
“Police are still at the scene and it is envisaged the security alert will continue for a number of hours.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Sean McGlinchey said: “This is the third incident over the past few weeks that has resulted in disruption to the local community.
“Thankfully no one has been injured in this attack on a family home.
“The people behind this recent spate of devices have only achieved disruption of the local community.
“These actions are achieving nothing. These actions have been rejected by the local community and they must stop.
“Again local residents were put in danger and the people who left this and the other devices need to stop these actions before someone is killed or seriously injured.
“Anyone with any information on this attack should bring it to the PSNI.”Independent unionist MLA Claire Sugden said: “I am concerned at the discovery of a viable device in the Ard Na Smoll area of Dungiven this morning.
“This is another potentially dangerous situation and I condemn it. There is zero tolerance for activity like this.
“Dungiven is a quiet rural area where many families live, many of whom have been evacuated from their homes as part of the ongoing security alert. On a busy Tuesday school morning, this is causing disruption for many people who want to simply get on with their lives.
“This is the latest in a number of recent security alerts in the Dungiven and surrounding areas. People in this rural community are fed up with this type of disruption and intimidation; they just want to go about their daily business.
“I have requested to meet the PSNI about the ongoing situation in this part of my constituency. I urge people in the area to stay away from any suspicious objects, and to report them to the police immediately by dialling 999.”