Belfast Telegraph

Assisted-living facility hit in second night of petrol bombs attacks on Derry's Fountain

By Michael Sheils McNamee

An assisted-living facility in Londonderry has been hit in a second night of petrol bomb attacks on the city's Fountain area.

It follows a night of "terror" on Saturday when dozens of petrol bombs were thrown at police and houses close to the interface.

On Sunday night a group of between around 15 to 20 youths targeted the mainly Protestant enclave, with around 40 petrol bombs being thrown.

One of the missiles landed in the sheltered housing complex Alexander House, causing scorch damage to an outside wall.

Alexander House provides assisted living for elderly and vulnerable people.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, a staff member said one resident had gone to bed at 8pm out of fear after hearing the attacks, while another had packed a bag in preparation to evacuate the building.

PSNI Chief Inspector Alan Hutton said the attacks were being carried out by a "very small minority of people in the city".

Speaking on Radio Ulster's Good Morning Ulster programme, he said: "There is widespread condemnation from across the city. Primarily from both the Bogside and the Fountain. People are standing together to say this is totally unacceptable, it is appalling."

"...I want to pay tribute to the people working tirelessly, both to the people in the Bogside and the Fountain to work with young people to prevent [the attacks], and to draw them away from it."

In a Facebook post on Sunday night, PSNI Foyle said it was working with footage of the attacks to identify those involved. 

Unfortunately there has already been one attack on the Fountain Estate, D/LD this evening. Police resources are now...

Posted by PSNI Foyle on Sunday, July 8, 2018

The attacks have been condemned by the SDLP, DUP, Sinn Fein, and the UUP.

Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton said Saturday's attacks were down to the "intolerance" of the Twelfth celebrations.

"There are elements within republicanism deliberately intent on trying to raise tensions in the run-up to one of the largest unionist cultural expressions," he said.

"It is deeply worrying the lengths that those involved are determined to go to by endangering life and property."

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