Page last updated at 07:49 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 08:49 UK

School closes in security alert

The Army bomb squad at the scene of the alert on Whiterock Road
The Army bomb squad at the scene of the alert on Whiterock Road

Three hundred and fifty children at a primary school in Belfast have been sent home because of a security alert.

St Aidan's PS on the Springfield Road closed due to a suspect object on the Whiterock Road. Police later said it was a false alarm.

There is another alert on the Springfield Road, which is closed near Mackie's factory.

A similar alert earlier closed Ligoneil Road between Mountainhill Road and Crumlin Road. It was declared a hoax.

The alerts come a day after widespread disruption caused by hoax bomb alerts and hijackings across Belfast.

During Monday's chaos, a number of vehicles were hijacked and burnt out. Two Housing Executive workers were carrying out repairs in Ardoyne when their vehicle was hijacked.

A device was thrown onto a lemonade van in Finaghy Road North.

The driver was told to drive it under a bridge but a spokesperson for Maine Soft Drinks Ltd said he drove it to waste ground.

North Belfast Sinn Fein MLA Carol Ni Chuilin said people living in nationalist and republican areas were badly affected by the violence.

"This is criminality here... working class republican and nationalist people put out of their homes, intimidated, robbed, attacked... how is this going to unite Ireland?" she said.

All the roads effected by Monday's rush hour disturbances have since been reopened.

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