Youth festival targeted in North Belfast pipe bombing

Two pipe bombs have been thrown at a crowd of young people attending a community festival in North Belfast.

The attack, carried out late on Monday 30 July, came as the Golden Thread theatre on the Crumlin Road was packed with people attending a festival play. The devices were thrown at the front of the building and exploded, spraying the façade with shrapnel, and damaging nearby cars.

Loyalist paramilitary group the Red Hand Defenders have claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes only a day after the murder of Gavin Brett, a Protestant teenager gunned down by the Red Hand Defenders as he stood chatting to friends outside a Glengormley GAA club.

While no one was injured in the Crumlin Road pipe-bomb attack, the loyalist group stated that the intended target had been a well-known republican.

Festival organiser Gerard McGuigan described the event as “a naked sectarian act” which had deeply affected the community, and said that security would be tightened for the rest of the festival, which is due to continue until August 5. (CL)

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