Security forces sealed off the centre of Banbridge this afternoon following a bomb warning. It is understood a telephone caller claimed a device had been left in the County Down town. Last July, a car bomb in the town caused some £3.5 million worth of damage. The so-called Real IRA claimed responsibility for that attack, which left 36 people injured and up to 200 buildings damaged.

Meanwhile, police in Belfast are investigating a small explosion which took place this morning outside a house in the Greencastle area on the edge of north Belfast. The RUC say an extremely primitive device was used, made up of a firework in a small length of copper pipe. It was thrown over a fence into the back garden of the house. No damage was caused and no-one was injured. The house is occupied by a Catholic woman, who has lived there for the past 35 years. She said she was distraught and did not know why the attack happened. She said she had no hatred in her heart for anyone and that she just wanted to live in peace.