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22 February 2001 Edition

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Eyes wide shut

The RUC are ``keeping an open mind'' on the motive behind a bomb attack on a Catholic family in Lisburn on Wednesday, 21 February. The family, who were asleep at the time of the attack on their Knockamore estate home, heard a loud bang around 5.20am on Wednesday. They later discovered a pipe bomb had been thrown at the outside of the house, causing minor damage. Commenting on the attack the RUC said they had not ruled out a sectarian motive but they were still keeping an open mind, an assertion immediately challenged by local Sinn Féin councillor Paul Butler.

``This pipe bomb attack on a Catholic family was undoubtedly sectarian,'' said Butler. ``These attacks are part of an ongoing orchestrated pogrom which has been ongoing against the nationalist population throughout the Six Counties.''

Meanwhile, Catholic families living in the predominantly loyalist Whitewell area of North Belfast have reported an intensification of loyalist attacks in the area.

In one of a number of recent incidents a couple and their one-year-old child were attacked by loyalist teenagers as they walked past the White City area. Around 7.30pm on Saturday evening, the couple were pushing their baby in a pram when around 15 youths started throwing stones. When a brick hit the child's pram the father remonstrated with the teenagers only to be targeted for further sectarian abuse. ``A youth said it was a pity the fenian bastard hadn't been killed,'' a local resident reported.

Earlier in the week a 13-year-old Catholic schoolboy was walking along the Whitewell Road when a car carrying four men in their early twenties pulled up. Three of the men jumped out of the vehicle and attacked him. The child sustained severe bruising and required immediate hospitalisation. He was treated for several days because of damage to his kidneys sustained in the attack. Last week a Catholic teenager was injured when a man ran out of a loyalist estate brandishing a spanner and hit him across the head, cutting an ear.

Earlier this month, two men went into Hazelwood Integrated school, where they singled out Catholic children and threatened them with a knife and hammer.


An Phoblacht
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Dublin 1