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Evacuations possible in Belfast due to flood risk

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Agencies are preparing for the possibility of evacuations in flood vulnerable parts of east Belfast - telling residents to be ready

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Thousands of sandbags already in place in Sydenham area - PSNI say the concern is that flood defences could be breached

Belfast centre sealed off as experts examine fire bomb

Belfast city centre has been sealed off as experts examine a fire bomb believed to have ignited at a shop in the busy shopping district, just a few hundred metres from the site of a blast on Friday night.

Police at the scene in Belfast city centre Credit: UTV

Read: Police hunt for hooded man in Belfast bomb probe

Christmas party goers were forced to evacuate busy bars and restaurants on Friday, after a sports bag with a small explosive inside ignited on the pavement in the city's Cathedral Quarter.

"We are advising city centre businesses to check their premises for any suspicious objects," a police spokesperson said.

The escalation by extremists opposed to the peace process has also included posting letter bombs to senior police commanders and Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers.

Police have stepped up their presence since masked men forced a terrified driver to bring a bomb into a Belfast city centre car park in November.

Read: Police step up Belfast security after bomb blast

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SDLP MP pays tribute to female Belfast victim

SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has expressed her sympathy to the family of the female victim of a double murder in Belfast, who she said had family in Drumaness.

SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Finbar McGrillen and Caron Smyth were named as by the PSNI earlier today.

"It was very distressing to hear the details of this double murder in east Belfast over the weekend," Ms Ritchie said.

"The woman who was killed has family in Drumaness and I am speaking on behalf of the whole community. I am sure they will rally around and provide whatever support they can at this terrible time".

Belfast MP: Community 'shocked' over double murder

Jimmy Spratt of the DUP . Credit: Paul Faith/PA

South Belfast DUP MLA Jimmy Spratt is among local politicians to extend their condolences to Finbar McGrillen and Caron Smyth, who were named as victims of a double murder in Belfast.

"The local community is in shock and the news of these deaths so close to Christmas is devastating for the victims' families and my thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time," Mr Spratt said.

"If anyone has any information I would urge them to contact the PSNI immediately."

Victims of double murder in Belfast named

Police have named the victims of a double murder in Belfast as Finbar McGrillen and Caron Smyth.

A 33-year-old man arrested in connection with the incident in the Ravenhill area in the south east of the city remains in police custody.

The man, who was detained on Saturday, can be held for up to three days. The bodies of Mr McGrillen, 42, and Ms Smyth, 40, were discovered in a flat at Ravenhill Court on Friday afternoon.

Police said they believed the pair had been victims of a domestic-related incident.

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Man held over alleged double murder in Belfast

Police investigating a double murder in Belfast have arrested a man. The 33-year-old was detained shortly after detectives revealed the deceased - a middle-aged man and woman - had been victims of a domestic incident.

Detective Chief Inspect Una Jennings said: "We believe that the perpetrator of this crime may well have been in a relationship with one or other of the victims."

DCI Una Jennings speaking at PSNI headquarters as the deaths of a man and a woman in a house in Belfast Credit: David Young/PA

Police hunt for hooded man in Belfast bomb probe

Police are trawling through hours of CCTV footage in the hunt for a man in a black hooded top suspected of leaving a bomb outside a busy restaurant in Belfast.

An Australian tourist (name not known), passes a doorway which was the scene of a small explosion in Belfast. Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Vigilant passers-by who discovered the dissident republican device minutes before it detonated in the packed Cathedral Quarter district last night have been hailed by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) for averting a tragedy.

Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway, the PSNI officer leading the investigation into the blast appealed to anyone who may have seen the suspect carrying a black Slazenger bag around 6pm last night.

Belfast deaths treated as 'suspected domestic murder'

The deaths of a middle-aged man and a woman found in a house in Belfast is being treated as a "suspected domestic homicide", police said today.

Detective Chief Inspector Una Jennings, senior investigating officer with the PSNI added:

I would describe it as a domestic incident, we believe that the perpetrator of this crime may well have been in a relationship with one or other of the victims.

We don't consider they pose a risk to the public at this time.

Read more: Death of two people in Belfast being treated as murder

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