Alliance Justice Minister Naomi Long has described those behind a viable device on the Upper Lisburn Road as “beyond reckless”.
The PSNI confirmed the recovery of a viable device on the footpath on Friday night.
Naomi Long said: “To leave an explosive device on a public footpath like this is beyond reckless. Those responsible have no regard for human life. They are motivated by a need to create fear and disruption in our community and they do not care if innocent people are injured or killed as a result of their cowardly actions.
“Thankfully, due to the swift actions of the public and the professionalism and expertise of the ATO and police, a potentially serious incident has been averted.
“I would appeal to anyone with any information to contact the police on 101 or the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”