Belfast Telegraph

Man injured in 'vicious assault' after abduction from town

Police are investigating a possible paramilitary link to the abduction of a 22-year-old man in Strabane on Thursday night.

The man was thrown into a van and had a hood placed over his head before being driven outside the town where he was viciously beaten by a number of men.

He sustained a number of serious injuries in the attack including a suspected broken arm and large gash to his head, the PSNI said.

Detective Sergeant Brian Reid who is leading the investigation into the abduction said the victim was walking in the Carlton Drive area at around 11pm when a grey van pulled up alongside him.

"He was pulled inside the vehicle, had a hood placed over his head, and had his hands and feet bound.

"The van was then driven some distance out of the town before stopping and a vicious assault being carried out on the male by a number of men," said Mr Reid.

The man was then driven back into the town and dumped in Bradley Way before midnight.

"While the injuries are not life threatening, this was a horrifying attack that will have had a major impact on the victim and his loved ones," said Mr Reid.

He added: "I am appealing for community help in identifying the perpetrators of this crime.

"There can be no justification for criminal groups carrying out such brutal attacks, attempting to control communities through fear and violence."

It is understood possible paramilitary involvement is one line of police inquiry.

Detectives can be contacted on 101 quoting reference number 1532 10/08/17.

Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

SDLP MLA for the area Daniel McCrossan said this was a "disturbing" attack.

"Strabane has witnessed a spate of attacks on individuals and families in recent months, which is completely unacceptable. The message must be put out there, and it must be clear, that these attacks have no place in our society," he added.

Drew Thompson, chairman of Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership, said the gang that carried out the assault have no concern for people living in the area.

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