The local MLA – who met with volunteers and those evacuated at their temporary shelter last night – praised the ‘quick and effective action’ of the security services and volunteers at the scene.
Chris Lyttle MLA said: “I must condemn those behind this hoax device, whose cowardly actions led to major disruption for many late at night. Those intent on dragging our society back to the dark days of the past must not be allowed to continue and I know the community is united in its condemnation of this attempt to disrupt society.
“I must thank the PSNI, Belfast City Council, BHSCT, Salvation Army and Ledley Hall Youth Club staff and volunteers who sheltered and returned evacuated residents to their home.
“It is unacceptable that young families and older residents with medical conditions were forced from their homes. The ill intent of the perpetrators of this security alert was starkly contrasted by the dedication of the public services and compassion of the local community in response.
“These reckless individuals put people at serious risk tonight and anyone with any information that could help apprehend them should contact the police.”