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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2007, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
Alley object was 'elaborate hoax'
bomb vehicle
Bomb experts attended the scene
A security alert in Belfast's lower Ormeau area has been declared an elaborate hoax, police have said.

Residents were evacuated after a telephoned warning and the discovery of a suspicious object in an alley at the back of houses in Hatfield Street.

A nearby hall was opened for people who had to leave their homes. They have all been allowed to return home.

Assembly member Alex Maskey described the incident as "reprehensible" and said it only served to disrupt lives.

SDLP MP Alasdair McDonnell said those responsible should be made accountable "before the law".

"Clearly this was no juvenile prank that went wrong," he said.

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