Loyalists mount attacks in Belfast
Three republicans had their homes attacked overnight.
Last night's attacks are the latest in a series of attacks on
the homes of republicans in West Belfast in recent weeks.
Republicans believe that the attacks are linked and that the
information is coming directly from within the Crown Forces.
The attacks occurred in the St. James area and involved ball
bearings fired into the houses at around 11pm. In at least one
of the cases the ball bearing passed through double glazing
and entered the living room, which was occupied at the time.
"It was only through good fortune that nobody was seriously
injured or even killed as a result of these attacks," said
West Belfast Sinn Fein Assembly member Fra McCann.
"Let us make no mistake about this, these ball bearings are
being fired from handgun type weapons and are lethal."
Maskey urged republicans to remain vigilant in the time
Loyalists have also been blamed for a murder bid in north
Belfast on Sunday night.
A young man who was leaving the Boundary Bar was attacked by
four loyalists wielding hammers. He suffered serious head
injuries and he is considered lucky to be alive.
Sinn Fein representative for North Belfast Gerry Kelly said it
was not a random assault but a sectarian attack.
"I am calling on unionist politicians to speak out against
this sort of random sectarian attack and work with the
representatives of the nationalist community in North Belfast
to ensure that this type of sectarian activity is ended."
And the grave of loyalist murder victim Daniel McColgan has
been desecrated for the second time. The attack comes just
weeks before the second anniversary of the murder of the
Catholic postman in Newtonabbey, just north of Belfast.
Mrs McColgan, who tends to her son's grave daily, discovered
his headstone had been smashed, pictures of the young father
destroyed, and flowers strewn everywhere, when she visited
"I'm disgusted. They are the lowest of the low. Why do they
need to do this?
"They have no respect for the dead or anyone. They must have
no respect for themselves. The whole Protestant community
should come out and say what these loyalists are like."
Sinn Fein's Briege Meehan blamed the UDA for the desecration.
"This ongoing sectarian campaign against the McColgan family
is organised and orchestrated by the UDA in Newtownabbey and I
would call upon them to desist from their despicable
desecration of nationalist graves in Carnmoney," she said.
"We call on both sides of the community to try and eradicate
sectarianism in Newtownabbey through dialogue and to build
trust and respect for each other's cultures and traditions."