31/01/2011

Man Stabbed As Gunmen Target Teen

The 21-year-old man has been stabbed after in an attack by three men in west Belfast.

It happened at lunchtime on Saturday in the Beechmount area with the victim taken to hospital after the incident, where his condition is described as serious.

Police are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time to come forward with information.

The past weekend also saw an unconnected 'paramilitary-style' attack taking place - this time in north Belfast's New Lodge area.

The victim, a teenager was shot in the thigh at his home on the Carlisle Road at about 6.30pm on Saturday.

Sinn Fein MLA Conor Maskey described it as an act of "reckless violence".

Commenting after three men attacked the 17-year-old he said: "The community of north Belfast has been at the centre of major disruption this week and are clear they do not want blood on their streets.
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"Those responsible for these attacks need to fall in behind the efforts, led by the community, to create safer streets in the New Lodge area rather than intimidating people with the use of guns."

"Such acts of wreckless violence in the community will achieve nothing," he insisted.

Meanwhile, an East Belfast Alliance Councillor Máire Hendron has condemned those involved in a separate knifepoint robbery at a shop on the Castlereagh Road at around 6.45pm on Sunday evening.

Pottinger Councillor Máire Hendron said: "I am appalled at this incident. This must have been a very frightening experience and my thoughts are with the staff member subjected to this ordeal.

"We have seen a number of robberies at shops in the area in recent times and these incidents are having a devastating impact on local businesses and are very traumatic for staff too. The fact that a knife was brandished is deeply troubling and those involved must be caught as soon as possible.

"Anyone who can help police catch those behind this should contact police immediately," she said.

(BMcC)

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