Belfast Telegraph

Call to cleanse streets of paramilitary 'tyranny' after shooting

By Adrian Rutherford

The paramilitary-style shooting of a young man in Belfast has been condemned as "cowardly".

The 21-year-old was shot in both legs in the west of the city.

It happened in the Ardmonagh Parade area at around 10pm on Friday.

The man was taken to hospital but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Secretary of State James Brokenshire urged anyone with information to come forward.

"I am sickened by news of the punishment-style shooting in Belfast - a cowardly act of violence that has no place in our society," he said.

"I urge anyone with information to contact the police."

The shooting was also condemned by Orlaithi Flynn, a Sinn Fein MLA for the area. She commented: "This shooting of a 21-year-old man in Ardmonagh Parade was wrong and I condemn it.

"There can be no place for these type of actions in our society. Those responsible need to stop immediately.

"I would call on anyone with information on this attack to bring it forward to the PSNI."

West Belfast SDLP MLA Alex Attwood said society had to confront the "violent forces" behind paramilitary crime.

"There is a new tyranny emerging - drug pushing on one hand and violent attacks on the other," he said.

"Many in west Belfast know the scale of the threat, the impact on our community and the risks for our young people in particular.

"People and police must together confront these criminal and violent forces."

Latest PSNI figures show that in the 12 months to last October, there were 22 casualties resulting from paramilitary-style shootings.

That is six fewer than the 28 recorded in the previous 12 month period.

Last April, Michael McGibbon died after being shot in a paramilitary-style attack.

The 33-year-old bled to death in the arms of his wife Joanne following the shooting in an alleyway close to their Ardoyne home.

He was killed by the so-called New IRA.

Police figures also show a rise in the number of casualties from paramilitary-style assaults.

In the 12 months to last October, there were 67 casualties - seven more than in the previous year.

Police urged anyone with information about Friday night's attack to contact detectives at Musgrave PSNI station, quoting reference 1178 06/01/17.

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