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Attempted abduction and assault in Short Strand raises serious questions

18 June, 2005

Sinn Féin spokesperson for East Belfast Deborah Devenny has this morning reacted to the attempted abduction of one man and the assault of another in the Mountpottinger Road area of the Short Strand.

In this morning's incident, a car pulled up at the Short Strand shops, and four loyalists got out and approached a local man. They were disturbed by another local man and drove off. They proceeded to drive to Madrid Street, where they attacked a resident with hammers at his front door.

Speaking today Ms Devenny said:

"This latest sinister incident will further heighten tensions at the beginning of the summer marching season, and in particular for nationalists living in vulnerable areas. I am concerned that loyalists have entered the Short Strand with apparent ease.

"When the PSNI arrived on the scene they said that they had been in pursuit of the car for the past number of days, yet never found it necessary to inform local people as to possible dangers. At this point, they have not informed any resident of whether or not they have apprehended those in the car.

"It is a recurring theme that when tensions rise over loyalist parades, as do attacks upon innocent nationalists. The Orange Order cannot divorce themselves from their responsibilities.

"As the summer marching season is now upon us, I would call upon nationalists to remain vigilant at this time."ENDS

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