Woman assaulted and arrest made after mob gathers outside Belfast home of man named on Facebook
A woman has been injured and a man arrested after an angry mob gathered outside the Belfast home of a man listed on Facebook page as a potential target for a so-called 'punishment shooting' on Wednesday night.
Hundreds of people swarmed to the property in Poleglass, with many demanding that the man leaves the area.
Police were called to Laurelbank in Poleglass, where a car had been smashed up at around 7.30pm.
It is believed to belong to a man accused of involvement in a public altercation in the area recently.
Masked men smashed the windows of his home, where it's believed a young child was staying. A woman in the house was attacked. However she did not receive serious injuries. The gang later made off on foot.
Police had to escort a number of family members, including the targeted man, to safety.
It's understood the Housing Executive has provided the family with emergency accommodation.
Angry residents could be heard shouting obscenities as the man was escorted from the area.
Police are appealing for witnesses following an incident in the Laurelbank area of Dunmurry last night, Wednesday 18 January.
While officers were conducting follow-up enquiries in the area a 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon after a fight broke out between two men. He was interviewed and later released on police bail pending further enquiries.
Police have appealed for information.
The incident came just days after a husband and wife were shot at their home on Norglen Parade.
PSNI Belfast commander Chief Superintendent Chris Noble said it is too early to say whether the recent shootings are linked, but added they are a huge concern to both the police and the people of west Belfast.
"In terms of the basic facts of the incident, we were informed by the Ambulance Service just after 10pm (on Tuesday) that they had come across a young male, a 26-year-old male, who had been shot twice - once in each leg," he said.
"We attended very quickly afterwards and there was an immediate closure of the scene and attempts to secure evidence and we have since engaged with the victim in hospital, who thankfully is stable.
"We want to condemn what has happened. In terms of people involved, it is very early days to speculate but at the very least they are criminals. It is also too early to say if the number of recent shootings are linked but clearly there is an active line of inquiry around violent dissident republicans being involved."
"We also don't want to speculate on exactly why this individual was targeted. We don't want to speculate on the cause but clearly there is no justification whatsoever for this type of anti community behaviour."
Mr Noble called on anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area and in particular after 10pm to come forward to police.