A viable pipe-bomb type device - which "had the potential to kill or maim" - has been made safe, following a security alert in west Belfast.

Several homes were evacuated in the Slieveban Avenue area of Andersonstown on Wednesday while police dealt with the suspicious object.

It has now been taken away for further examinations, while residents have been allowed to return.

Detective Sergeant Stephen Gardiner said: “Police would like to thank the local community for their patience while we worked to keep them safe.

"The device we have recovered here today had the potential to kill or maim.

"I would appeal to anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area recently or anyone with any information that could help our investigation to contact detectives on 101."