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25 April 2002 Edition

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Pensioners terrorised in North Belfast

Two elderly pensioners suffered shock after a UDA bomb exploded at the rear of their houses and set fire to an oil tank, which erupted in flames.

The attack happened last Thursday night, 18 April, at Alliance Road in Ardoyne. Earlier there had been trouble at the Alliance Road/Ardoyne Road interface where loyalists from Glenbryn had attacked Catholic-owned houses on Ardoyne Road and the area was tense.

According to the Sinn Féin councillor for the area Margaret McClenaghan the loyalists attacked the houses on Ardoyne Road without provocation, "it was after residents came out to protect their homes that the blast bomb was thrown over the 'peaceline' into the back yard of the elderly man's house".

The bomb exploded and set fire to an oil tank of his elderly neighbour which erupted in flames that shot up to 15 feet into the air.

Both pensioners suffered shock and were taken to hospital but released soon after.

On Sunday, two boys, aged 8 and 14, were hit by plastic bullets during trouble at Brompton Park in Ardoyne. In a familiar pattern, the trouble erupted after loyalists attacked homes in the area. When the Crown forces moved in, they confronted nationalist youths and fired three plastic bullets, hitting the two youngsters. Speaking to An Phoblacht, Sammy Donnan, whose eight-year-old nephew Christopher was hit on the shoulder, said the boy was "lucky to be alive". Sammy had brought his nephew to the shops at Ardoyne Road and was returning home when Christopher was hit.

"I don't think they, (the RUC/PSNI), needed to be firing, the trouble wasn't that serious at the time or else I wouldn't have taken Christopher out to the shop," he said. Christopher suffered bruising to his shoulder and internal bruising as a result of being shot.

Minor trouble also erupted at the corner of Alliance Avenue and Ardoyne Road on Monday afternoon. Local people told An Phoblacht that a loyalist youth cycled down from Glenbryn and was shouting sectarian abuse at local people when a number of youths chased him.

It was then that a gang of about 30 loyalists, who were lying in wait, came out of hiding armed with stones and bottles. The trouble died down after 30 minutes but the area remained tense.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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