24 August 2005

Children are hurt in paint attack


Three children, including a three-month-old baby, have been splattered with paint during an attack at a house in north Belfast.

A gang of four youths attacked three homes in Cliftondene Gardens at about 1730 BST. Loyalists are being blamed.

A petrol bomb hit the wall of a house, whilst paint attacks broke windows and showered a woman with glass.

The children - a girl aged six, a boy under two and the baby - also suffered minor cuts in the incident.

It is understood the two young boys are related and the girl is a friend.

The gang escaped on foot leaving behind a crate of bottles filled with paint. Sinn Fein said they had meant to target more Catholic homes.

During the attacks, a Catholic mother ran outside to plead with the gang not to throw paint at her house because her two-year-old son was playing outside.

But the gang attacked the house anyway.

The police said they had recovered a number of "unused paint bombs" close to the scene and have appealed for local community representatives to use their influence to stop these attacks.

Superintendent Gary White condemned the attacks.

"Yet again it is the most innocent and vulnerable members of the community in north Belfast that have been affected by the activities of those intent on ensuring that interface violence continues," he said.

On Tuesday, night the home of an 82-year-old Protestant cancer sufferer and his wife was attacked in Hesketh Road.


Sinn Fein councillor Danny Lavery said Wednesday evening's attacks were sectarian.

"Paint and petrol bombs were thrown at these three homes in a purely sectarian attack," he said.

"Sinn Fein have spoken out clearly and strongly against all sectarian attacks including those last night in Heskith and those today on the Ardoyne Road.

"We stand against attacks like these from whatever section of the community they come from and will work constructively to bring them to an end."

He urged unionist representatives to come out as strongly and clearly against the attacks to try to end them.

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