Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Wave of sectarian attacks by British loyalists raise marching season tension

Colm Heatley:

Loyalist paramilitaries have been accused of stoking up sectarian tensions in the run-up to the marching season after a wave of weekend attacks on Catholic homes and property in Belfast.

The attacks took place in mixed areas in the north of the city and the PSNI has said they believe they are sectarian and connected.

On Friday night a car in Cliftondene Crescent was destroyed by a petrol bomb and paint was thrown at three houses in the street.

The owner of the car and her 11-year-old son narrowly escaped injury when the windows of their house were smashed.

Later, a short distance away at Abbeydale Park, a car was damaged and paint thrown at two houses.

Two properties at Ligoniel Road and one in Somerdale Park were also attacked with paint.

In the early hours of Saturday morning a petrol bomb attack in the Farmley area of Glengormley destroyed one car and damaged another.

Sinn Féin assembly member Gerry Kelly blamed loyalist paramilitaries for the attacks.

“These were clearly well-planned and co-ordinated attacks and I have no doubt that they were carried out by one of the unionist paramilitary gangs,” he said.

“These sorts of attacks at this time of the year on the eve of the marching season follow a well-worn path.

“It is clear that this latest wave of unionist intimidation has been timed to try and influence policy around forthcoming controversial parades in this area.”

Loyalists are blamed over attacks


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