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Major Co Tyrone security alert caused by PSNI torch left in wheelie bin

The torch had been left in a home following a search and was disposed of in a wheelie bin by a resident

Kurtis ReidBelfast Telegraph

A major security alert in Co Tyrone was caused by a police torch left behind during a search, the PSNI has confirmed.

On Monday, a number of homes were evacuated in the Innisfree Gardens area of Strabane and parts of the community sealed off following the discovery of what was described as a “suspicious object”.

The PSNI has now confirmed it was in fact one of their own torches, which had been left in a home in the area and was disposed of in a wheelie bin by a resident.

Footage later emerged of bomb disposal units carrying out controlled explosions on the bin, with a spokesperson for the police claiming the “object was nothing untoward” upon the alert’s end.

In a statement to the Belfast Telegraph, the PSNI confirmed they carried out two searches in a property in Innisfree Gardens on two occasions - November 18 and November 21 - in relation to the attempted murder of two police officers at Mount Carmel Heights, Strabane on Thursday, November 17.

"During the search on 21st November 2022, police looked inside a wheelie bin located outside the front of the property and subsequently discovered a suspicious object, which was not originally the subject of the search,” said a PSNI spokesperson.

"The area was immediately cordoned off as the safety of members of the public and police officers will always be the priority. ATO subsequently declared the item to be nothing untoward.

“Further examination of the object has confirmed it was a police issue torch, which was reported missing (on) Wednesday, November 23rd.”

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