Unionists paramilitaries up violence level
Sectarian attacks have increased over the past week, culminating
in a machete attack in which a Catholic man almost bled to death
in North Belfast.
The man almost lost his ear in the attack and lost so much blood
that doctors said he was lucky to be alive.
The man said he was walking home along the Cliftonville Road
when a car pulled up and three men jumped out.
They shouted, "Get the Fenian Bastard", and struck him with
machete, which opened a wound from his eardrum to the base of
The man now says he is so traumatised by the attack that he does
not want to return to his flat, which overlooks the scene of the
A group of Catholic schoolboys were also attacked by a hammer
wielding gang in the same area, while vehicles belonging to
members of a Catholic football team were damaged as they turned
out for a game in Ballymena.
The referee was forced to abandon the match against the
Protestant Dale Farm team after a sectarian mob threw bottles
and other missiles onto the pitch.
Meanwhile, unionist paramilitaries have been accused of
conducting a campaign of terror against a 19 year old Ballymena
man. Death threats against the man have been phoned into a local
radio station, naming his address. The PSNI police have also
visited his home on two separate occasions to warn him of a
threat to his life.
And in South Belfast, unionist paramilitaries appear to be
attempting to raise tensions in advance of the marching season.
A group of 40 masked men were reported to have driven into
McClure street from the Donegall Pass area on Tuesday night and
threatened local residents.
Local councillor Alex Maskey said a "particularly worrying"
aspect of the incident was that phones on the unionist side of
the interface were switched off and it proved impossible to set
up contact until after midnight.
Unionist paramilitaries were also blamed today for a gun attack
near Belfast on the home of a man living under a death threat in
an apparent dispute over turf.
Mark Stubbs was at home when the front of his house was sprayed
The living room window was shattered as five bullets hit walls
of the house on the southern outskirts of the city. Mr Stubbs
said a number of death threats had been made against him and a
number of other people in this area.