Belfast Telegraph

Police probe arson attack on church

Police are investigating an arson attack on a Presbyterian church and neighbouring hall in south Belfast,

It happened on the Saintfield Road at around 1am on Sunday, police said.

The church and hall sustained considerable damage.

PSNI inspector Jonathan Francey appealed for anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity around the church or anyone who has information about this incident to contact police.

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire said: "I am shocked and saddened to hear of the disgraceful attack on Saintfield Road Presbyterian Church and hall.

"My thoughts are with its parishioners who will be devastated by this news."

It was the second arson attack on the church in recent days.

Church elder Alistair McCracken said the congregation did not know why their church was being targeted. "We are really very sad," he added.

Sinn Fein MLA Mairtin O Muilleoir said: "As with the previous attack, the people behind this attack are targeting a hub of community endeavour and a place of worship and peace building."

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