Belfast Telegraph

Video emerges as teen critical following New Lodge stabbing incidents

A teenager is in a critical condition in hospital after being stabbed in the back near an anti-internment bonfire in north Belfast.

The 18-year-old was attacked in the New Lodge area on Thursday night.

In another incident, a 39-year-old man was stabbed in the arm and the hip and is also in hospital receiving treatment. His injuries are not thought to be critical.

A 28-year-old and a 21-year-old suspect were arrested at an address on Oldpark Road on Friday morning on suspicion of offences including causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Stabbing in the New Lodge area of north Belfast
Stabbing in the New Lodge area of north Belfast
Stabbing in the New Lodge area of north Belfast
Stabbing in the New Lodge area of north Belfast
Stabbing in the New Lodge area of north Belfast
Stabbing in the New Lodge area of north Belfast

A video has emerged of an incident in which a male is seen brandishing a knife.

It happened as a large crowd gathered to watch the bonfire on Thursday evening, which was lit to mark the anniversary of the introduction of the policy of internment without trial of suspected republicans in 1971.

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Crowds watch as a bonfire is lit in the New Lodge area of Belfast (PA)

"We are aware of footage circulating on social media and this will be examined as part of the wider investigation," said Chief Inspector Kelly Moore.

"I would encourage anyone who was in the area and who can assist the investigation to please make contact with us by calling 101, quoting reference 1818 08/08/19."

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.

Rioting broke out in the New Lodge on Thursday after a number of men refused to remove themselves from the summit of a towering anti-internment bonfire.

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Crowds watch as a bonfire is lit in the New Lodge area of Belfast to mark the anniversary of the introduction of the controversial policy of internment without trial. Pic: PA Wire

Residents in the New Lodge were warned by the Housing Executive on Thursday night to leave their homes  after police retreated from a confrontation in the mainly republican area.

The PSNI officer in charge of yesterday's failed attempt to oversee the removal of the bonfire by contractors yesterday apologised to the New Lodge community for the unsuccessful operation.

After the PSNI pulled out of the operation at 3pm, lawyers for the Department confirmed that the planned removal of the bonfire would not go ahead without PSNI support.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: "I would like to apologise to the community that we have not been successful in achieving the objective today.

The Green Party councillor Malachai O'Hara said the people in control of the bonfire are dragging north Belfast back to a place where [they] don't want to be, and that the incidents have brought shame to the area.

"I believe the location of the bonfire and its size represented a deliberate attempt to create friction with the police and an excuse for a night of disorder.

"It plays into the hands of people who would want to denigrate the working class communities of North Belfast.

"There is a wider problem with anti-social behaviour in the New Lodge and many young people have a contempt for any sense of law and order - they probably haven't heard of the so called peace dividend let alone felt any benefit from it.

"I know the greater New Lodge community is strong and will regroup in the coming days. A score of young people manipulated by others can create mayhem within a community. I know, however that the people in the area are resilient."

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