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Women, 94 and 89, attacked in homes

Two elderly woman have been attacked during two separate burglaries over the weekend.

In Newry, a 94-year-old woman suffered a terrifying 20-minute ordeal as she was held down in her bed while another man ransacked her home.

At around 10pm on Friday evening the thugs forced their way into the woman's home in the Ballyholland Road area of Ballynacraig.

Sinn Fein councillor Brendan Curran is a friend of the family.

He said that although the pensioner tried to stand up to her attackers she was left extremely shaken and traumatised as a result.

"This isn't a frail 94-year-old woman. She's a very outgoing and very strong lady," he said.

"But it has traumatised this woman and she has been very shaken up.

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"It has had a very big impact on her and her entire family circle."

He said the men went "systematically through each room".

"I'm very thankful that this lady was in bed when they came because otherwise she would have tried to defend her home.

"That could have made things even more serious.

"I want to see these thugs arrested as soon as possible. Anyone with information should come forward to police."

Earlier on Friday evening an 89-year-old woman suffered an injury to her arm after three men broke into her home in Crumlin.

At around 8.30pm the gang burst into the house on the Antrim Road and attacked her.

It is understood her son-in-law was then threatened and tied up as he tried to help.

A police spokesman said it was not clear whether anything had been stolen.

The two attacks are not believed to be linked.

SDLP councillor Thomas Burns said he was shocked thieves had targeted an elderly woman in her home on a busy road close to Belfast International Airport.

"I think it is absolutely disgraceful and it puts an awful amount of fear into the elderly.

"We don't want to hear anything like this happening again with people being terrorised.

"The police are going to have to make a tremendous effort to catch these thieves."

Sinn Fein councillor Anne-Marie Logue urged anyone with information to bring it forward to the PSNI.

She added that she was "appalled and shocked by the actions of the burglars".

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