Officers in Derry/Londonderry are continuing a complex policing operation tonight following the discovery of a suspicious object in the Creggan Heights area of the city earlier today.
Police were in the area as part of a planned operation targeting the violent activities of the New IRA.
To ensure the safety of the community the occupants of approximately 15 houses were advised to evacuate with council and community partners providing rest centres for those residents displaced from their homes.
Assistant Chief Constable for District Policing Mark Hamilton said: “This is a complex operation which is expected to continue throughout the night and we have advised those residents who have left their homes to make alternative arrangements. We recognise the upheaval this has caused and we are grateful for their co-operation and understanding.
“The focus of this operation is ensuring the people of Creggan are safe however it is concerning to see significant numbers of young people on the streets, late into the night, throwing petrol bombs and other missiles at officers in the area. The reality is this type of disorder contributes to the complexity of the policing operation and presents a real risk of injury to those involved. Already we have seen two incidents this evening where young people have sustained burn injuries as result of engaging in disorder.
“I would reiterate our appeal for those young people to return home and remove themselves from the situation. We are grateful for the support of community representatives in helping to reduce tensions and providing space for officers to carry out the necessary work to ensure this object does not present a risk to the people of Creggan.”