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Shooting of Belfast couple in legs sparks angry condemnation

By David Young

A husband and wife were shot in both legs in a shocking attack in west Belfast last night.

Police are investigating the incident, which took place in a house in Norglen Parade at approximately 6.15pm.

Two men forced their way into the property and shot the couple in the kitchen.

The victims were taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital for treatment

Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

The couple are believed to be in their 50s.

Their condition in hospital was described as stable last night.

West Belfast SDLP MLA Alex Attwood condemned those who carried out the shooting, which he described as a "act of tyranny".

Mr Attwood said: "The fact that two people, a man and a woman and both in their 50s, have been injured confirms that no one is off limits to those who are now using the gun.

"At the weekend I warned of a new twin tyranny gathering itself in west Belfast - those who use the gun on the one hand, and the pushers of cocaine and heroin on the other.

"The police, the community and the agencies all need to confront both.

"I have spoken with senior police tonight.

"They are looking for the help of the public.

"The public must give the police help."

Last night, as the first snow of winter fell on the strongly nationalist area, PSNI Land Rovers patrolled the narrow terraced street where the brutal attack took place.

Sinn Fein MLA Pat Sheehan, who knows the victims, condemned the shooting as "barbaric".

"There is no way that this family has been involved in criminality of any sort," he told BBC Radio Ulster.

"Whatever the motivation, there is absolutely no justification for it.

"Those who are involved should take themselves away from the community.

"There is no place for guns here."

He added: "Whoever is responsible needs to stop these barbaric attacks immediately.

"I would call on anyone with information on this attack to bring it forward to the PSNI." Alliance Party justice spokesman Trevor Lunn also condemned the shooting.

"Yet again we see guns on the streets of Belfast," the MLA said.

"There can be no justification for this type of attack and whoever was behind it needs to be condemned without equivocation."

PSNI Detective Sergeant Keith Wilson appealed for anyone with information or who noticed anything suspicious in the area to come forward.

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