Last night’s (Thursday) hoax alert at Union Street has been condemned by local politicians.
The alert began around 10.30pm with the discovery of a suspect object outside the Spice House takeaway.
Army Technical Officers were on scene at 11.20pm and a controlled explosion was carried out.
Union Street was sealed off as the alert was dealt with.
The alert ended at approximately 1.25am on Friday (October 31).
ATO declared the suspicious object to be a hoax. It has been taken away for further examination.
DUP MP David Simpson hit out: “This ordeal last night is cause for concern.
“Residents living in the area were alarmed with some having been evacuated and others house bound.
“There is also a business today having to deal with the aftermath of the controlled explosion and the damage it has caused to their premises.
“We also had a large police presence which obviously is an additional strain on resources which are already stretched owing to budgetary constraints.
“The individuals who carried this out are backward thinking, intransigent people who have no care for the wellbeing of people living in the area. The device was a hoax and I would commend the PSNI for their actions. I would also encourage any one with any information to come forward to the PSNI and report it.”
Local Councillor for the area Carla Lockhart said: “This is a worrying turn of events. I was liaising with the PSNI throughout the ordeal and with local residents and there was a real fear amongst people.
“I would encourage anyone with any information to come forward to the PSNI and report it immediately. What we have today is the aftermath of something which seeks to drag us back in society.”