Police Service of Northern Ireland
Police Service of Northern Ireland Paul Faith/AFP/Getty

Residents of two neighbourhoods in Northern Ireland were evacuated by police late Thursday (19 November) night as 'suspicious objects' were reported to have been found at Strand Road, Londonderry, and at Magheralave Park South in Lisburn. Bomb disposal officers arrived at Strand Road after a hijacked vehicle was abandoned with a suspicious object inside close to a police station.

"We do know that a vehicle has been hijacked but we're not too certain as to how serious the device is," Gary Middleton, a Democratic Unionist Party MLA told the BBC. He said he understood a "suspicious device" had been left inside the hijacked vehicle and he described it as a "terrorist act".

"It is very unfortunate that it happened on a night when the Christmas lights were switched on in the city, when there are lots of people out enjoying themselves." The DUP MLA for Foyle said it is not yet known who was responsible for the hijacking.

The first evacuation location at Strand road is close to a police station. The second one in Lisburn is near the Thiepval Army Barracks. While the combing operation in Lisburn has ended, the one at Strand road could take a while police said.