A 13-year-old schoolboy was today being treated for several fractures in hospital after being brutally assaulted by a group of men in the Waterside area of Londonderry.
The attack took place at Aughlish Court in the Caw estate at about 7.30pm yesterday.
The teenager was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital last night with a number of suspected fractures following the assault.
A spokesman for Altnagelvin today described the youth’s condition as “stable”.
A motive for the attack has not yet been established.
Police have arrested two men — an 18-year-old and a 21-year-old — in connection with the attack. Both men were today being questioned by detectives at Strand Road.
Mayor of Derry Gerard Diver has led the condemnation of the attack.
Mr Diver said the young boy would undoubtedly have been left traumatised by his ordeal.
He said: “My reaction to this is one of horror — this was a child beaten up by a gang of men and my thoughts are with the child and the family.
“It is horrific enough when something like this happens to an adult, but when it happens to a youngster then God only knows what long-lasting trauma that will inflict on a young person. I can’t even imagine.”
He added: “I hope people in the local community would pass on any information they have about this to police.”
DUP councillor for the Waterside William Hay today said local people in the Caw area were shocked by the attack on the young boy. He added: “There can be no justification, none whatsoever, for attacks of this nature, whatever the reasoning behind them.
“We do not know the circumstances behind this particular attack but in general I don’t think anybody has the right to take the law into their own hands and act as judge and jury.
“I have been speaking to some people in the Caw area and people do not know what has happened with regards to this incident.”
UUP Waterside Councillor for the Caw area Mary Hamilton said: “This was a terrible attack on a very young schoolboy and must be totally condemned.”
Speaking generally about recent attacks on teenagers in the North West, Mrs Hamilton added. “Young people need to stop and think about the consequences of their actions and I would also urge parents to take a hard look at themselves and to take responsibility for making sure they know where their children are going and what they are doing.”
A PSNI spokeswoman said: “Anyone in the area at the time or who knows anything about the attack is asked to contact police in Derry on 0845 600 8000 or anonymously on the Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."