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Shoppers witness savage attack on girl in Derry

A 14-year-old girl was badly beaten during a savage attack by a gang of thugs in Londonderry at the weekend.

The girl was with three friends outside a city centre supermarket when a group of teenagers began heckling her.

A female member of the gang grabbed her by the hair and pulled her to the ground.

Several other members of the group then joined in, kicking the girl in the head and back.

The attack took place at around 5pm on Saturday in the busy Strand Road area as shocked shoppers and passers-by looked on in horror.

The girl was left with bruising and a suspected fracture to her nose.

Police have described the female attacker who pulled the girl to the ground as having long straight red hair and wearing black tights.

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Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan described the broad daylight attack as sickening. He said: "Obviously we hope this girl makes a speedy recovery not just from her physical injuries, as this would have surely been traumatic for her.

"It is really alarming to think this could happen in the city at all, let alone at five o'clock on a Saturday in broad daylight along the main thoroughfare and one of the busiest roads in Derry," Mr Durkan added.

"I would appeal to anyone with information to come forward to the police with that before these people strike again.

"Whenever there is a violent attack, the consequences can be fatal."

A NSPCC spokeswoman urged any young person who is attacked to seek help.

She said: "No child or young person should face violence, the threat of violence or bullying as part of their day-to-day life.

"Unfortunately, for many children this is a daily occurrence - whether at school, at home or in their local community.

"Bullying can destroy the lives of many children, who might carry the emotional damage into adulthood.

"Its impact can be long lasting and deeply affect a child's happiness, esteem and performance at school."

She added: "Over the last 10 years bullying has consistently been one of the main reasons for children to contact ChildLine, making up 14% of all calls to the helpline in 2009/10."

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