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Firefighter injured as thugs hurl stones at crews

A firefighter was injured last night after fire crews came under attack in Antrim.

The male officer was hit by “a large object” as youths threw stones and other missiles at firefighters in The Stiles estate in the town.

The Fire and Rescue Service were called to the Ardnaglass Gardens area of the estate at around 7pm, to what was believed to be a section of grass alight.

On arrival it was discovered a rubbish bin had been set on fire and pushed against the local community centre.

Officers began dousing the flames, but soon came under attack from a number of youths.

The stones and other objects caused damage to a fire appliance and resulted in one officer being taken to hospital.

The extent of his injuries were unknown last night, although they were thought to be minor.

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It is understood a number of fellow officers accompanied him to the hospital.

Station Commander for the area Keith Black said any attack on his officers was a “very serious” matter.

“I encourage anyone with influence in this community to bring that influence to bear. We want to stamp out these attacks,” he added.

“What people don’t realise is that our firefighters are from the local Antrim area, they are carrying out attacks on people who maybe live down the street or people who live in the same estate.

“Any attack on a firefighter is an attack on the whole community.”

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