25 March 1999 Edition

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Youths escape death

Two West Belfast youths narrowly escaped death when a loyalist gang tried to abduct them near the Village area of South Belfast in the early hours of Saturday morning, March 20.

An Phoblacht has learned that the pair were walking along Glenmachen Street when a gang of loyalists came out of an entry and grabbed them.

Fortunately, the eldest youth managed to break away and run for help. Rescuers arrived at a house in Glenmachen Street where they saw a house with its light on and heard screaming. One said: ``We kicked in the door and saw three men trying to drag the second youth out the back door into the entry. We ran after them but they managed to escape.'' He is convinced that the youth would have been killed had they not rescued him. The youth had been severely beaten and a knife blade was lying on the ground.

A Sinn Féin activist, confirming the story, told An Phoblacht that she spoke to both youths and examined the boot marks on the second youth's body as well as his broken nose.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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