Belfast Telegraph

Politicians slam blast 'bullies'

The people behind two bomb attacks in east Belfast have been branded bully boys and gangsters.

Police are investigating a blast that destroyed the front door of a house in Invernook Drive, as well as a pipe bomb attack on a car in nearby Tamar Steer two hours later. No-one was injured in either attack but political representatives said lives were being put at risk by a spate of violent incidents.

Robin Newton, the Democratic Unionist representative for the area, said: "The number of violent incidents within the Sydenham area is of growing concern. If these incidents continue it is only a matter of time before there is a fatality.

"The good people of Sydenham, and East Belfast as a whole, have long ago rejected those who engage in violent behaviour and just want to get on with their lives. The bully boys and gangsters have no support within the community and act only on their own behalf. They have nothing positive to offer the community."

Detectives are continuing to examine the scene of the Invernook Drive explosion, which occurred at 8.40pm on Friday. A number of people in the area were forced to leave their homes overnight while army bomb experts examined the scene.

Police also confirmed a pipe bomb type device was thrown through the rear window of a parked car in Tamar Street at 10.50pm. No-one was injured but the vehicle was damaged and homes had to be evacuated for a period.

Mr Newtown said: "The PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) need the support of the community to deal with these violent acts. Anyone with a shred of information should contact the police. It is in the community's best interests to see violent men taken off the streets."

The Alliance Party's Judith Cochrane said: "This must have been a frightening incident for residents in the area when it happened. If anybody has any information about this incident then I would urge them to contact the police. I would also like to praise the efforts of the emergency services who dealt with this explosion."

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