07/07/2003

Muslim family endure attack on family home

A gang of around ten men has targeted the County Armagh home of a Muslim family in what is thought to have been a racially motivated attack.

The attack occurred at around 2.30am on Saturday morning when the family were at home in their house in the Enniskeen area of Craigavon. The gang used baseball bats and iron bars to break windows and doors, in what is the latest in a series of incidents involving the family, who have also reported being shot at with air rifle pellets.

SDLP councillor Dolores Kelly condemned the attack, and said that the experience had been extremely traumatic for the family. She added: "The front door was hit with such ferocity that the glass actually landed at the top of the stairs."

She went on to state that she believed the attack had been racially motivated, coming after a recent campaign opposing the construction of a mosque in the Craigavon area.

Politicians have also recently spoken out about a string of attacks on ethnic minorities in south Belfast, which have seen a Chinese family subjected to a "prolonged and vicious" ordeal during a robbery at their family home in Finaghy, and pipebombs thrown at the Donegall Avenue house of two South African women.

(CL)

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