Pubs, restaurants and businesses in the Bishop Street area are being evacuated following a suspected car bomb in Derry city centre.
PSNI are attending the scene where a van is believed to have exploded outside the court house on Bishop Street at approximately 8.15pm.
The scene has been sealed off for examinations. It is not yet known if anybody has been injured.
The public has been warned to stay away from the area.
Residents from the Bishop Gate Hotel have been brought to nearby hotels for the night.
Police are in attendance at the scene of an incident in Derry/Londonderry city centre. We would ask for patience and co-operation of the public and the business community as we carry out our initial investigations. Any info to 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
— PSNI (@PoliceServiceNI) January 19, 2019
Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion has condemned the suspected bomb attack.
The Foyle MP said: “This incident has shocked the local community. In particular, there are many elderly residents who live in the area who have been alarmed by this incident. Thankfully no one appears to have been injured in this incident.
“Derry is a city moving forward and no one wants this type of incident. It is not representative of the city. I would encourage anyone with information about this incident to bring it to the police.”
SDLP MLA Mark Durkan also condemned the suspected bombing, saying: “Whoever is responsible for this needs to get the message loud and clear : We do not want or need bombs and guns on our streets.
“We want to move Derry forward and will not let people, whatever heir (sic) agenda is, drag us back to the dark days of the past.”