BELFAST - A bomb was defused in Belfast's restaurant district overnight, the first time a viable device has been found in the center of Northern Ireland's capital in recent years, police said on Saturday.
The device, which police said could have caused fatalities, was found on Friday night in the "golden mile" where many of the city's bars and restaurants are located, forcing police to evacuate homes and businesses.
Army experts worked for over 16 hours before giving the all-clear after carrying out a controlled explosion.
"This was a viable device which was capable of causing death or serious injury," said Police Service of Northern Ireland Inspector Eugene King.
A 1998 peace agreement largely ended over three decades of violence between Catholic Irish nationalists, who wanted a united Ireland, and predominantly Protestant Loyalists who wanted the province to remain British.