Police in Belfast say they recovered 16 modern semi-automatic handguns and in excess of 800 rounds of ammunition during a search of a wooded area in the east of the city.

A security alert began yesterday evening and a scenic area off the Manse Road in the Castlereagh area was cordoned off while the PSNI carried out a search.

At one stage a British Army bomb disposal team was involved in the operation.

The weapons and ammunition were discovered buried in a hole in the wood.

The area was re-opened to traffic just before midday.

Forensic experts are to examine the weapons in further tests.