Delivery driver forced at gunpoint to take suspicious device to police station in Londonderry

A major security operation is under way after a delivery driver was forced at gunpoint to take a suspicious device to a police station in Northern Ireland.

A group of armed men placed the object in the man's car in Currynierin, Londonderry, and forced him to complete a 10-minute journey before abandoning the grey Ford Mondeo outside Waterside Police Station.

The driver was able to raise the alarm, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said a "public safety operation" was immediately enforced.

Many families have been forced to evacuate their homes due to the incident, and a local school is also "experiencing disruption", Superintendent Clive Beatty said.

He added that the "reckless and despicable act" has "brought chaos" to the community and officers are on the scene to direct people on what to do.

"This must have been a horrific ordeal for the driver and we hope he recovers from this traumatic incident," he said.

Several roads have been closed while officers continue their investigation, but the busy Crescent Link has reopened between Kilfennan Link Road roundabout and Altnagelvin Hospital.

Affected residents will be able to get back into their homes with the help of police, but only via specific roads.

'We must unite against reckless actions'

Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O'Neill has called the incident "extremely disturbing" and said the community must now come together.

In a tweet, she said she had spoken to the PSNI for an assessment of the situation.

"These people that reach for the past need to hear that it's not available to them, We must unite against these reckless actions," Ms O'Neill added.

DUP MLA Gary Middleton said he was "on the ground all night" and praised the work by local services.

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"Babies who needed milk. Children who needed somewhere to sleep. Nurses coming off shift who needed somewhere to lie down," he said.

"The disruption has been incredible, but so has the community response."

Intermittent violence has plagued Northern Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998, including the murder of Lyra McKee during a riot in Derry in 2019.

Last week, police said they were investigating the possibility that the New IRA was behind a bomb attack on a police vehicle in Strabane, Co Tyrone, in which two officers escaped injury.