Man held after two people found dead in Belfast flat

By David Young, PA

Detectives investigating the deaths of two people found in a flat in Belfast have arrested a 35-year-old man, police said.

He has been taken to Musgrave Police Station for questioning after the bodies of a man and a woman were found in the apartment in the Kinniard Close area on Monday afternoon.

Local sources said it is understood they suffered stab wounds.

Several nearby homes have been evacuated amid a major police operation in the area.

Police officers at Kinnaird Close in Belfast (Brian Lawless/PA)

Police have confirmed that two people were found dead but have not confirmed any further details, insisting the investigation was at an extremely early stage.

Councillor Paul McCusker told the PA news agency: “Just a few days before Christmas this is the worst kind of news for any family.

“Within the local community there is anger and sadness.”

The SDLP representative said the dead couple were both “characters” and well known in the area.

“A few days before Christmas this couple’s poor family will get this devastating and horrific news that they have died in such conditions,” he added.

PSNI officers at the scene on Kinnaird Close in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

Sinn Fein councillor JJ Magee said it was a “tragic scene”.

“Absolutely shocked, the community is shocked by the news that has come from this very, very serious situation,” he said.

“It is an absolute tragic event.”

Mr Magee said there would have been many children in the area around the time of the incident due to the Christmas holidays.

Police forensic officers were examining the scene of the incident through Monday afternoon.

Forensics officers at the scene after a couple were killed in a suspected stabbing (Liam McBurney/PA)

A PSNI helicopter was also circling above the area at intervals throughout the day.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery, said: “At around 12.55pm police received a report from a member of the public that the bodies of two people had been discovered in a flat in the area.

“The circumstances of the deaths will now be subject to investigation and post-mortem examinations will take place in due course.”

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said it received a 999 call shortly after 1pm.

“Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, no one was transferred to hospital,” the NIAS said.