Two people have been found dead in a flat in Belfast in a suspected stabbing incident.
The bodies of a man and a woman were discovered in the apartment in the Kinnaird 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 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 said he believed police had been pursuing one male in connection with the deaths.
“Just a few days before Christmas this is the worst kind of news for any family,” the SDLP representative told PA.
“Within the local community there is anger and sadness.”
Police remain at the scene of an ongoing incident at a flat in Kinnaird Close in north Belfast this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/KsmdAgm6oU
— PSNI North Belfast (@PSNIBelfastN) December 23, 2019
Mr McCusker 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.”
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.
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.
“At this stage it would not be appropriate to elaborate further on the circumstances as our inquiries are at an extremely early stage.”
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 in a statement.