TOWN CHAOS

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A DEVICE, described by local police as “viable”, caused major disruption in Ballymoney on Monday.

A house-holder taking his dog for a walk discovered the device packed into a lunchbox on the window sill of his home at Ozone Avenue at 8am.

People were evacuated from other homes nearby and roads, including the nearby major thoroughfare of Meetinghouse Street, were closed.

In a bid to keep traffic flowing freely around Ballymoney, police reversed the one-way system at Main Street.

A police spokesman in Ballymoney told the Times on Monday afternoon: “We believe at this stage it was most likely a viable device but that has yet to be confirmed by forensic experts.”

An army technical officer carried out a controlled explosion on the device around 1pm on Monday and although householders were allowed back into their homes at Ozone Avenue, through the rear of the properties, the scene at the front remained sealed off to allow a follow-up search to recover potential evidence from the device following the controlled explosion.

A police spokesman said at 3pm on Monday they were still investigating a motive but did not believe it was sectarian and no claim of responsibility had been made.

Police are appealing for anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area of Ozone Avenue on Sunday or Monday to get in touch with them on 08456008000 or call Crimestoppers 0800555111.

The alarm was raised on Monday morning after a man noticed a lunchbox, containing wires and other material, sitting on the window sill.

Police evacuated householders at Ozone Avenue and builders working at a church in Meetinghouse Street also had to move.