Security forces in Belfast dealt with two alerts in the city this morning, but both been declared hoaxes.

Suspicious objects were found on the Ligoniel Road on the north of the city.

In the west of the city, an alert on part of the Whiterock Road resulted in 350 pupils at the nearby St Aidan's Primary School having to be sent home for the day.

A section of the Dublin to Belfast railway line at Lurgan has been reopened after a burned-out vehicle was removed from the track.

Meanwhile, politicians in Northern Ireland condemned those responsible for a string of security alerts that caused traffic chaos last night.

Rush-hour traffic in Belfast and elsewhere was severely disrupted last night after the series of bomb scares and car-jackings that have been blamed on dissident republicans.

Roads were closed across Belfast with vehicles abandoned close to police stations in the north and west of the city.

First Minister Peter Robinson said: 'The criminal terrorists responsible for the series of bomb scares and hijackings are beneath contempt and have no support whatsoever in the community.

'In recent weeks, Northern Ireland has sent these murderers the message loud and clear. We will not be dragged back into death and mayhem.'

The M1 was closed city-bound close to the intersection with Lurgan, Co Armagh, due to an abandoned hijacked vehicle.

There were reports that two cars were hijacked in the nationalist Kilwilkie estate in Lurgan.

Other incidents included the closure of North Queen Street close to the city centre because of an abandoned vehicle near the police station and the closure of Hillview Road in the Oldpark area due to an alert.

Nationalist SDLP deputy leader Alasdair McDonnell said: 'Those responsible for the hijackings and alerts are intent in wrecking the new agreed Ireland, we have worked so hard to achieve. They are enemies of peace and progress.'

Sinn Féin north Belfast Assembly member Carál Ní Chuilín said those responsible had nothing to offer and their actions were wrong and counterproductive.

'All that those, who have closed our off arterial routes are responsible for is causing disruption to these communities. This includes republican, nationalist and unionist communities but mainly, if you look at where these alerts are, it is republican communities that are being affected the most,' she said.

'I would like the spokespeople of those behind these alerts to come forward and explain how this will in any way achieve a united Ireland.'

Police said there were also reports drivers of hijacked vehicles in the Hillview and North Queen Street areas also had their wallets stolen.

Ulster Unionist leader Reg Empey said: 'The disruption in the Belfast area today has been caused by republican elements who, frustrated at their failure so far to gain support after the Antrim and Craigavon killings, are determined to pursue their warped campaign regardless of the cost.

'As this is yet another test for our community, I appeal again for people to remain calm, and not under any circumstances to retaliate.'