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shocking find East Belfast incident not the first time children have found guns and ammo in Ulster

A similar incident involving a 10-year-old boy occurred in Lurgan in 2012

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A video circulated on social media of the boy holding the gun

A video circulated on social media of the boy holding the gun

A video circulated on social media of the boy holding the gun

An incident in which a child found a high-powered air rifle while playing in east Belfast is not the first time children have stumbled across weaponry linked to criminal elements in Northern Ireland in recent years.

The boy found the rifle while playing in a park in the Newtownards Road area and was seen holding the weapon up in a video which went viral on social media.

Back in 2012 a similar incident occurred when a 10-year-old boy found a firearm in Lurgan.

The child had been playing in a field in the Colane Road area of the Co Armagh town when he stumbled across the weapon.

He then took the gun home to their parents who then alerted the authorities.

The police took the weapon away and passed it on to ammunition technical officers for examination.

In June 2017, a child of primary school age discovered a revolver and ammunition while playing in the street in the Rathgill area of Bangor, Co Down.

The weapon was taken away by the police for further examination.

At the time councillors described those who left the weapon there as "reckless".

In the video of the latest incident, the young boy is seen lifting the potentially deadly rifle in front of a large wooden construction covered in a mural, where the weapon is believed to have been found.

The group of children in the area then informed an adult who contacted the police.

The police have since taken the weapon away for further investigation.

The incident was met with shock and anger in the area with PUP counsellor Dr John Kyle saying: "Given tensions in the area in recent months, one would consider the discovery of weapons to be taken seriously."

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