Belfast Telegraph

Witness appeal over bus hijacking

Police have appealed for witnesses to the hijacking of a bus in Newtownabbey.

The incident occurred at the outset of Friday night's disorder in the Carnmoney Road area - trouble which saw five police officers injured.

At around 8.10pm a crowd surrounded the vehicle and two masked men ordered the driver to park it.

Police arrived on the scene and the driver was able to drive off. There was slight damage caused to the bus but no reports of injuries linked to the hijack incident.

During further trouble that developed in the area, a crowd of up to 100 people attacked police with bricks and bottles.

A car was set alight and a property was also damaged.

It is understood the violence erupted after a group of men attempted to remove Irish tricolour flags from lampposts and were challenged by the PSNI.

A building containing an office used by Alliance Party leader David Ford was targeted by the rioters. A number of windows were smashed.

The Alliance Party has borne the brunt of loyalist anger linked to a decision to restrict the number of days the Union flag flies over Belfast City Hall.

An office belonging to another Alliance Party politician, Stewart Dickson, in Carrickfergus was destroyed by arsonists in December. The party's only MP, Naomi Long, and a number of local councillors have also received death threats.


From Belfast Telegraph