21/04/2008

Early Morning Petrol Bomb Attack Racial

A foreign national woman who is eight months pregnant was among four people targeted in a petrol bomb attack at the weekend.

Police believe that the incident - in County Tyrone - was racial in its nature.

The PSNI said that two men and two women – including the one who is heavily pregnant - were in the living room of their house in Millburn Park, Cookstown, when the device was thrown at about 3am on Sunday.

While no one was hurt, a window was smashed and there was scorch damage and the occupant's car was also burned.

Since the people in the house are Lithuanian police believe the attack was racially motivated.

Commenting, SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone who visited the house said: "They are badly shaken up. Their car is completely torched.

"The clear message must go out that these people from Lithuania are doing nothing different to what generations of people from this country have done... go abroad to earn their keep for themselves and their families.

"To see them come through this is really disastrous," he said.

The people involved said their home had been vandalised several times before this incident and they now plan to move out as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, police have appealed to anyone with information to contact them.

Meanwhile, police investigating an incident in which a teenager suffered facial injuries after he was attacked and beaten by four men in north Belfast have asked for help from the community.

The 14-year-old boy was set upon at Alliance Parade in Belfast at about 4am on Sunday. He was taken to hospital where his condition was described as stable.

Police said last night that a motive for the attack had not been established.

Area Commander, Chief Inspector Andrea McMullan condemned the attack and has also called on the community to help police by reporting crimes like this.

"This type of behaviour and criminal activity is not a problem that can be addressed by police alone," she said.

(BMcC)

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