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PSNI treating attack on teen as sectarian

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General view of Royal Avenue

General view of Royal Avenue

The boy was attacked by up to five young males.

The boy was attacked by up to five young males.

Royal Avenue

Royal Avenue

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General view of Royal Avenue

POLICE have appealed for information after a sectarian attack on a teenager by up to five males in Belfast city centre.

The 13-year-old Protestant schoolboy, understood to be from the Shankill area, was assaulted on Royal Avenue on Thursday afternoon.

One teenage boy was arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and has been released pending a report. Police, who are treating it as a sectarian hate crime, are seeking other suspects who may have been involved in the incident.

Sergeant Mike Brown said: “At around 5.30pm, a passing police patrol came across a boy who reported that he had been punched on the head and face by between three and five young male assailants earlier that afternoon.

“He was taken to hospital for treatment and was later released.

“This was a vicious attack on a young boy who has gone through quite an ordeal. He is now thankfully recovering from his injuries.

“Our inquiries are continuing, but we are treating this incident as a sectarian hate crime.

“The victim was wearing a red T-shirt at the time of the incident and we would like to hear from anyone who was in the Donegall Place/Royal Avenue area between 3pm and 3.30pm on Thursday afternoon and saw what happened.

“If you were a witness or you have any information that might help us, get in touch with police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 1433 of 15/7/21.”


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