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Bomb hoax at loyalist parade

A device found in Rasharkin is declared a hoax, and one of the North’s most contentious marches goes ahead .

A loyalist band passes PSNI, or Police Service of Northern Ireland riot squad officers during a parade in Rasharkin

A LOYALIST PARADE in Antrim was delayed last night following a bomb alert, which was later confirmed to be a hoax.

The device was found behind the Orange Hall in Rasharkin at around 7pm. A number of residents were evacuated from their homes.

British Army technical officers arrived at 9pm to examine the device.

After the bomb disposal team inspected it, they declared it a hoax and the parade went ahead at about 10.30pm.

PSNI officers stood between a group of about 1,000 loyalists waiting to march, and a group of protesting nationalists. There were some scuffles between police and protesters, but the march went ahead.

The scene of the parade, Rasharkin, is apredominantly Catholic area and just one of the traditional locations where tempers flare during every summer during marching season in Northern Ireland.

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The parade, which is organised by the Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors Flute Band, takes place through the main road of the town, and is one of the most contentious marches in the North.

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