Petrol bombs have been thrown at police during a security alert near a polling station in Londonderry.
Five petrol bombs were thrown after a suspicious device was found on Moss Road, close to St Paul’s Primary School.
Police said one of the petrol bombs was thrown in Glengalliagh Park and a number of children were close to where it landed.
Three boys, two aged 17 and one aged 12, have been arrested.
Police have recovered six other petrol bombs, two crates of empty bottles and 20 containers of paint.
Supt Gordon McCalmont said there was no doubt officers were lured into the area and that those involved in the “orchestrated disorder had one aim in mind – to attack police”.
He added: “This was all the more reckless by the fact that one of the petrol bombs hurled at police landed in close proximity to young children who could have been left seriously injured, or worse.
“This security alert is the second this month in this area, impacting the same community that was disrupted on May 2 during local council elections.
“It cannot be lost on anyone the disruption this has caused in the local community, let alone the potential for serious harm that could have been caused.”
Voting continued at the polling station during the alert, which has now ended.
Army bomb experts carried out a controlled explosion on the device. It has been declared an elaborate hoax.
Supt McCalmont said the blame for the inconvenience “lies squarely with those individuals who left this close to a local school, which was being used as a polling station this evening.
“Those responsible have absolutely nothing to offer local people or society in general”.