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Romanian man stabbed in brutal racist attack by loyalist paramilitaries - four others injured

 

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Windows and the front door were smashed after a gang attacked five men in a house in Hollybank Drive in Newtownabbey on Sunday evening

Windows and the front door were smashed after a gang attacked five men in a house in Hollybank Drive in Newtownabbey on Sunday evening

Windows and the front door were smashed after a gang attacked five men in a house in Hollybank Drive in Newtownabbey on Sunday evening

Windows and the front door were smashed after a gang attacked five men in a house in Hollybank Drive in Newtownabbey on Sunday evening

Windows and the front door were smashed after a gang attacked five men in a house in Hollybank Drive in Newtownabbey on Sunday evening

One of the Romanian men attacked in a Newtownabbey home suffered stab wounds and a broken shoulder, police have revealed.

The victim along with four others who suffered minor injuries have been forced out of their home after being viciously attacked by a masked gang over the weekend.

Loyalist paramilitaries are thought to have been behind the incident, however, police said contrary to reports there were no reports of a gun being used in the incident. Renewing their appeal for information, police revealed the extent of the man's injuries.

District Commander Superintendent Sue Steen said the investigation is progressing and detectives are following a number of positive lines of enquiry.

“It is understandable that this incident has caused concern within the local community and I would reiterate our appeal for anyone with information to come forward,” she said.

"Whilst one of the victims has sustained a broken shoulder and stab wounds, the others thankfully sustained only minor injuries. I would reiterate that there can be no justification for this vicious attack or the extensive damage caused to the house.

"The actions of those responsible are not reflective of the wider community who have been vocal in their support for the victims."

The incident, which took place in Hollybank Drive, Newtownabbey on Sunday night, is being treated by police as a hate crime.

At around 8.20pm, a number of masked men forced their way into the house, smashing all of the downstairs windows and assaulting the occupants with baseball bats.

Neighbours - who were alerted to the attack by the sound of breaking glass and shouting - witnessed the perpetrators entering the house wearing balaclavas and armed with baseball bats during what they branded a "sickening" attack.

A woman who went to the assistance of the victims said the horrifying scene was like something she had witnessed during the Troubles.

“At this stage we can say that, contrary to some media reports, there is no evidence to suggest a firearm was discharged in or at the property. The detectives working on this investigation are following a number of lines of enquiry but are still keen to hear from anyone who has information that could assist in identifying those involved.

"It is not acceptable for anyone to be physically attacked or threatened in their home so if you do know anything that could help please ring us on 101 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is completely anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime, in this case one motivated purely by hate.”

Belfast Telegraph