Small blast in Northern Ireland`s Belfast: Police

A small explosion hit Northern Ireland`s capital Belfast after authorities received a telephone bomb warning, police said.

AFP| Last Updated: Dec 14, 2013, 02:40 AM IST

Belfast (United Kingdom): A small explosion hit Northern Ireland`s capital Belfast on Friday after authorities received a telephone bomb warning, police said. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The incident happened in the city`s central Cathedral Quarter area near many restaurants and bars on one of the busiest shopping nights before Christmas.

Local media said hundreds of people were evacuated from the area.

Police warned last month of an upsurge in activity by dissident republican groups who still want the British province to be part of the Republic of Ireland.

The blast comes weeks after a large bomb placed in a hijacked car partially exploded in Belfast on November 24, also without causing any casualties.

More than 3,500 people died during three decades of violence between Catholic republicans and Protestant unionists who want to remain part of Britain.

The unrest was largely brought to an end by 1998 peace accords which created a power-sharing government between the two communities, although low-level violence continues.