Belfast Telegraph

Race hate attack: Homes of two young Sudanese families targeted in north Belfast

By John Mulgrew

The homes of two young Sudanese families have been targeted in a race hate attack in north Belfast.

Front windows were smashed at two separate homes during an early morning attack at Glenrosa Link on Thursday.

The families targeted are originally from Sudan.

The attack happened as young children were asleep upstairs. No one was injured.

It's understood one of the children was due to celebrate their birthday with a party this afternoon.

DUP councillor Guy Spence, who condemned the attack, said the family were left "shocked and surprised".

"I was up speaking with them earlier and they are very surprised and shocked that something like this has happened," he said.

"But, they are comforted to know that the majority of the community has rallied around behind them.

"In the time they have been living there, they have integrated very well into the community".

SDLP councillor Pat Convery described the attack as "disgusting".

"Those behind these cowardly attacks do not speak for the people of this city and they offer nothing positive to our community.

"I have no doubt that the people of north Belfast will stand in solidarity with these families at this difficult time. I would urge anyone with information regarding these attacks to contact the PSNI immediately.”

Earlier this year the Belfast Telegraph revealed the number of racist attacks in Northern Ireland had almost doubled, with figures jumping by 43%.

The vast majority of race hate crimes (70%) took place in Belfast.

The majority of incidents took place in north Belfast (27), followed by the east (23) and south (16) of the city.

Figures obtained by this newspaper showed there were 156 race crimes across Northern Ireland in the first three months of this year, compared to 103 for the same period in 2013.

Last week the founder of the Belfast Mela festival, Nisha Tandon, said she wants to quit Northern Ireland due to the upsurge in racist attacks.

A large rise in racist incidents has been recorded across Belfast since a PSNI operation targeting perpetrators began in May.

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