Teen boy 'critical' after Belfast knife attack
A teenage boy remained in a critical condition in hospital last night following a vicious stabbing in west Belfast.
The 18-year-old was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital for emergency surgery after he was attacked yesterday morning in the Cullingtree Road area of the city.
Police said he was suffering from serious injuries.
A 26-year-old man was arrested in Belfast on suspicion of attempted murder on Monday morning.
He was later released on police bail pending further enquiries.
Detective Inspector Nigel Snoddy has continued to appeal to anyone who may have witnessed this incident or who has any information to contact Detectives at Reactive and Organised Crime, Musgrave Police Station on the non-emergency number 101.
Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.
This was the third stabbing in the area in recent days.
A 19-year-old was stabbed in the back in High Street in the city centre on Thursday night. A few hours earlier a man in his early 30s was stabbed in his house, just off the Falls Road.
The attacks have raised fears over knife crime levels.
"There is growing concern about the rise in knife crime attacks in Belfast.
"Any level of knife crime is unacceptable, and more needs to be done to deal with knife crime in our society," warned West Belfast MLA Alex Attwood.
The SDLP man added: "The attack on a man on the Cullingtree Road in west Belfast is truly appalling. The man suffered knife wounds which have left him in a serious condition in hospital.
"My thoughts are with the victims and their families at this time."
Sinn Fein councillor Mary McConville said there was a need to address knife crime in the city.
"The young man has suffered knife wounds leaving him in a serious condition and his family traumatised. More needs to be done to deal with the growing knife crime in our society and I am calling on young people not to be drawn in to carrying knives," she said.
"I hope this young man makes a full and speedy recovery and I would call on people who have any information to pass it on to the PSNI."
Detective Inspector Nigel Snoddy appealed to anyone who may have witnessed the attack at around 6am yesterday to contact police.
Over the last two years across Northern Ireland, there has been an increase in recorded violent crime resulting in injury, according to police statistics.
The highest level in the last two years was 1,381 offences over a 12-month period, recorded in August 2015.
There was also a 20% increase in the number of weapons possession offences over the past year.
The stabbing came just hours after a number of joyriding incidents in west Belfast. A number of stolen cars were abandoned by joyriders at different parts of the Falls Road on Saturday night.