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Woman suffers burns in Belfast petrol bomb attack

By Chris McCullough

A woman has been left "in agony" after suffering burns to her leg during an arson attack.

A house at Clara Street in east Belfast was extensively damaged in the petrol bombing around 11.30pm on Sunday.

It remained boarded up yesterday as police and forensic officers examined the scene.

The house is occupied by James Moffett. It was his girlfriend who was burnt. A pet dog also received injuries.

Mr Moffett said he was mystified as to why his home was targeted.

He told UTV: "I don't know who they were, they weren't people I knew.

"There were two guys running down the street with petrol bombs, smashed my window, looked in at my girlfriend and threw a petrol bomb at her, and it burnt her leg.

"She's in agony."

Mr Moffett said everything in the house was destroyed.

"It's all burnt out, I have nothing. I have lost everything," he added.

He said he now wanted to move away from the area, where he has spent all of his life, because he no longer felt safe.

DUP East Belfast general election candidate Gavin Robinson condemned the arson attack.

"We are currently engaged in giving all the help we can to rehouse those affected by this attack," he said.

"Everyone should have the right to live safely in their own homes free from fear."

Alliance East Belfast general election candidate Naomi Long also hit out at those responsible.

She said: "Whoever was behind this arson attack in Clara Street must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. There can be no excuse for this senseless violence.

"Lives could have been lost if the fire had spread to adjoining houses.

"I send my best wishes for a speedy recovery to the woman injured."

Mrs Long urged anyone with information to contact the police.

Locals said the house was targeted last year in a similar attack, which forced the former residents to leave.

The PSNI appealed to anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area to come forward. Detectives at Musgrave can be contacted on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1427 14/05/17.

Alternatively people with information can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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