A SECURITY OPERATION is underway in Belfast after an explosion on a city centre street overnight.
At around 9.30pm last night a number of masked men hijacked a car in the Jamaica Street area of North Belfast.
A device was placed in the car and the driver told to take it to Victoria Square. A security operation commenced and a number of residents and premises in the area were evacuated.
At around 11.15pm as police prepared to examine the car the device partially exploded.
Nobody was injured in the incident.
Buildings around the Vitoria Street area, where PSNI officers are inspecting a suspect car.
The PSNI evacuated the area around the Victoria Square shopping centre and Court Service before a bang was heard.
Victoria Street, Chichester Street, May Street, Oxford Street, Ann Street, Seymour Street were closed to traffic from around 9.30pm after the alert was reported.
The PSNI said traffic disruption was likely to be in place for a “number of hours”.
A spokesperson added:
“Police are continuing to deal with a security alert in Belfast City centre. It is likely that this will continue for a number of hours.”
Police would appeal to anyone who has any information about the incident or anyone who has any information about the movements of the silver coloured Renault Laguna car, registration number CJZ 4697 to contact Detectives at Musgrave Police Station on 0845 600 8000.
The Police Federation of Northern Ireland said on Twitter “PSNI and ATO are dealing with a complex and ongoing fluid situation in Belfast. Please bear with us as this could continue for some time.”