Page last updated at 08:31 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 09:31 UK

Searches resume after bomb scare

Scene of bomb alert
The building was evacuated while searches were carried out

Police are to resume searches of a north Antrim community centre after a bomb scare forced the cancellation of a District Policing Partnership meeting.

A telephoned bomb warning was received at 1815 BST on Tuesday, 45 minutes before the meeting was due to begin in the village of Mosside.

Nearby homes were evacuated while a controlled explosion was carried out.

Moyle DPP Chairman Oliver McMullan of Sinn Fein said loyalists may have been behind the incident.

Mr McMullan, who had called the DPP meeting, said the police told him a device had been found at the back of the building.

The councillor said local people had indicated to him at the scene that a loyalist faction was responsible.

He said he thought the meeting may have been targeted because it was to be chaired by a Sinn Fein representative.

'Concerns'

"I have been looking forward to giving the people of Mosside the opportunity to engage with the DPP at a public meeting for the first time," he said.

"This would have allowed the community to feed their concerns and opinions into the Area Policing Plan, as other local communities have done before.

"We will not be deterred by the actions of those who have no support or mandate and will rearrange the meeting at the earliest opportunity."

Up to 14 homes were evacuated at one stage, and some residents took shelter in a church hall.

They were later allowed to return to their houses.

'Disruption'

The chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, Barry Gilligan, condemned those responsible and said they had nothing positive to offer.

"Aside from preventing the Mosside community from having the opportunity to engage and discuss local policing issues, this incident has caused serious disruption to local people and particularly those who had to be moved out of their homes," he said.

Three DPP meetings have been cancelled since July.

Last week, dissident republicans forced their way into a meeting in a Londonderry hotel, blowing whistles and throwing stink bombs.



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