A viable pipe bomb caused a major security alert in North Belfast, on Tuesday. British Army bomb disposal experts defused the bomb on Northern Queen Street, in New Lodge and the road remained closed for several hours.

Police Service of Northern Ireland Detective Inspector Mary White told the Irish News that the security alert had caused “massive inconvenience, disruption and upset.” She also thanked the public for “their patience and cooperation.”

The BBC report that the bomb was diffused by an army robot and a controlled explosion was then carried out. The "viable device" was removed from the scene for examination.

Detective Inspector White asked anyone who noted suspicious activity in the area to contact the police. Two women, aged 27 and 38, have been arrested on suspicion of breaching the police cordon.

Sinn Fein Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Caral Ni Chuilin said "Residents were forced out of their homes for several hours today while this device was being dealt with.

"Those responsible showed no concern or care about the safety of the residents or passers-by.

"It is no surprise to anyone that this incident followed a night of antisocial behavior in the area associated with a nearby bonfire, which included street fighting among rival gangs and the theft and burning of local property."

She added “The people responsible for placing this device are at war with their own community. They should stop their futile actions before they kill or seriously injure someone."

Viable pipe bomb deffused in north Belfast. Sinn Fein politician says those responsible “are at war with their own community.”PSNI