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Media captionRobot inspects ‘suspicious vehicle’ in Newport

Cordons have been lifted and roads reopened following reports of a suspicious vehicle in Newport.

Gwent Police was called to a car parked by Friars Walk on Thursday, as well as a second suspicious item near the George Street bridge.

The shopping centre was evacuated while specialist officers used a robotic device to inspect the car.

Cordons were lifted shortly after 20:00 BST and all city centre roads have now reopened.

Eyewitness Ryan Hiscott said he heard loud bangs coming from a bomb disposal robot as it approached the vehicle.

He said the robot removed a number items from the vehicle, including two rucksacks and a smaller bag, before exploring its interior.

Image copyright @RHiscottImages / Ryan Hiscott

The A4042, the main road past Friars Walk, was closed in both directions for nearly five hours and traffic sensors reported heavy congestion.

Officers said a window on the vehicle had been smashed, but no controlled explosions had taken place.

Newport council is working with Newport Transport to arrange buses for those people who had been evacuated.

A spokesman said: “We are advising people to make their way to Queensway in front of the train station where help will be on hand. Our community wardens and PCSOs will be in place to offer advice.”

Newport Bus said its network was “still severely disrupted” and delays would go on into the night.

Elsewhere, all classes and activities at Newport Centre and The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre have been cancelled, with both buildings remaining closed.

Image copyright @RHiscottImages/Ryan Hiscott

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