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5 August 2004 Edition

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Black healthcare workers targeted in Antrim

One of two healthcare workers targeted in weekend racist attacks by loyalist paramilitaries in Cullybackey, near Ballymena, says she has been persuaded to remain at her County Antrim home by neighbours who have been extremely supportive.

Sma Ndaea, originally from South Africa, said she was terrified after her house was attacked as she and her four-year-old son slept upstairs. The front window of the home at Tobar Park, a loyalist housing estate, was broken in the early hours of Saturday 31 July. In a second attack on the house of an Indian work colleague of Ndaea's, a window was broken.

On a nearby wall, a swastika was spray painted beside graffiti supporting the racist Combat 18 group.

"I cannot understand why anybody wanted to attack me," said Ndaea. "I have lived here for over a year and I am not a threat. I work for the community at a nursing home."

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan told An Phoblacht there had been a significant rise in racist attacks in the area.

"The appearance of US Confederate flags outside Indian homes and a recent leafleting campaign by the White Nationalist Party, who have been helped by unionist paramilitaries in Ballymena, haven't helped the situation," he said. "This activity is leading to the increase in racist attacks. The unionist community needs to stand alongside Sinn Féin in opposing those loyalists carrying out sectarian and racist attacks across North Antrim."

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An Phoblacht
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