27 May 2004 Edition

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Taxi driver attacked in Waterside

Sinn Féin Councillor for the Waterside area of Derry, Lynn Fleming, is calling on unionist politicians and community workers to work to prevent attacks on taxis "before someone is seriously injured or even killed".

Fleming was speaking after a taxi driver from a firm based in Derry's Cityside was stoned on Saturday 22 May as he drove a passenger to the Waterside area of the city.

The man was driving along Crescent Link towards Strathfoyle when one of three loyalist youths sitting on a grass verge walked onto the road and threw a stone at the car, striking the passenger door.

"Taxis drivers from the city side have been removing all taxis signs from their cars before taking fares to the Waterside because of ongoing attacks, said Fleming. "If this stone had gone through the windscreen and hit the driver it could have caused a major accident."

Meanwhile, loyalists lobbed a petrol bomb at a house in Horace Street, in the Abercorn Road area, shortly before midnight on Friday 21 May. No one was injured in the sectarian and the house targeted suffered some scorch damage.

The loyalist petrol bombers ran off towards the nearby loyalist Fountain Estate.

Sinn Féin Councillor Peter Anderson said there had been previous petrol bombings in the area and that the Fountain Estate had also suffered attacks.

He reiterated his abhorrence of attacks on the Fountain but added that its residents, who are often portrayed as victims, "also have to deal with fact that petrol bomb attacks against nationalist homes have emanated from the estate and have to accept responsibility for that".

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