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16/08/2005

House targeted in sectarian paint bomb attack

Police believe a paint bomb attack on a Catholic home in Co Antrim on Monday was sectarian.

Bottles filled with paint were thrown at the property in Tudor Vale, Ahoghill, at about 11.30pm, causing extensive damage to the front of the property. No one was injured in the attack which has been blamed on loyalists.

Last night’s incident is the latest attack on Catholics in the area, in what Sinn Fein have described as the “ethnic cleansing” of the nationalist population in the area.

Sinn Fein Assembly member for North Antrim Philip McGuigan said: “Over recent weeks and months the small catholic population in Ahoghill has come under a sustained and violent unionist paramilitary campaign.

“It is motivated by a desire to ethnically cleanse Catholics and nationalists from the village. It also comes against a backdrop in North Antrim generally and the Ballymena area in particular of DUP politicians creating an atmosphere where Catholics and nationalists are seen as second class.”

Last week, Catholic residents in the village were supplied with fire-resistant blankets and smoke alarms amid fears of fresh attacks. Police say they have stepped up patrol’s in the area as a result of the upsurge in attacks.

Elsewhere, a pipe bomb device has been found outside a house in Carrickfergus.

The device was discovered on the doorstep of a home in the Windslow area of the town shortly before 1am on Tuesday.

The device was eventually made safe by Army bomb experts and no one was in the premises at the time.

(MB/SP)

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