5 August 2004 Edition
Loyalist attacks in Derry and Belfast
UDA bombers target Ligoniel
The UDA's sectarian campaign against the nationalist community of Ligoniel in North Belfast was stepped up on Tuesday 3 August when the unionist paramilitary group left a bomb at the home of a young family.
A pipe bomb was found outside the Ligoniel Road home of a Catholic couple and their children, aged two and three, respectively.
The family were in the house when the device, which was said to have been ready to explode, was discovered. A controlled explosion was carried out by members of a British Army bomb disposal squad.
Sinn Féin Councillor Eoin Ó Broin said the family's home has been attacked by unionist paramilitaries before. This latest sectarian attack comes a week after An Phoblacht highlighted the ongoing sectarian campaign being waged by loyalists against this small isolated community.
In the two-week period before the 12th, Orange Order supporters, sometimes accompanied by well known unionist gunmen, blockaded the single road into Ligoniel. Vehicles travelling into the district were attacked, while a number of Catholics were attacked while travelling home on buses.
"The PSNI turn a blind eye and they say they don't have the resources to protect Catholics who are being attacked as they drive through," said one resident. "Unionist thugs know our cars and they attack us with bricks and bottles. The PSNI do nothing and won't even say these attacks are sectarian."
Unionists must take responsibility for Fountain attacks
Derry Sinn Féin Councillor Gerry Mac Lochlainn has slammed the lack of response from unionist politicians to the latest sectarian attacks emanating from the Fountain Estate.
On Monday night three Catholics attending a party in the Fountain Estate were forced to flee for their lives when they were confronted by two masked men wielding a hammer and a machete. This is the latest attack in the past few weeks, which have seen a gay couple forced from their home in Artillery Street, students attacked in Carlisle Road and a car attacked in the Harding Street area.
"The silence over or even the denial of these attacks by unionist politicians, compounded by their refusal to enter into dialogue, does not instill confidence that the unionist community is prepared to confront those carrying out these attacks," said Mac Lochlainn.
He commended the discipline of nationalist young people who, "despite this severe provocation, have not risen to the bait of retaliation".
"Sinn Féin has constantly reiterated the message that any attacks either on or from the Fountain are wrong. It is a pity that the unionist politicians do not feel that they have to reciprocate that message to the unionist youth in the Fountain Estate."