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Top republican survives Belfast gun attack

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Police are investigating

Police are investigating

PA Wire/PA Images

Police are investigating

Police are investigating a murder bid on a top republican.

The man who is in his late 50s – named by security sources as Patrick Fitzpatrick – was shot in the back in the Short Strand area of Belfast on Saturday night.

The victim, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest, is being treated in hospital for his injuries, which are not life-threatening.

Mr Fitzpatrick is originally from the Short Strand area but has lived for many years in the west of the city.

He is a prominent Sinn Fein supporter who has appeared at events alongside leading members of the party.

In a statement, Detective Sergeant Duffield said guns have no place in the community.

"We are fortunate that we are not dealing with a fatality today following this disgraceful attack in which a firearm was discharged in a residential area in the early evening.

"The people undertaking these attacks do not represent our communities and I would appeal to anyone who was in the Short Strand area last night and noticed any suspicious activity or vehicles being driven in a suspicious manner to contact detectives at Musgrave on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1711 25/01/20."

Sinn Fein Policing spokesperson Gerry Kelly condemned the attack.

"Thankfully the man has not been seriously hurt but it appears this was an attempt to kill or injure him.

“There is no place for guns in our society and those responsible for the attack must be taken off the streets and should face due process in the courts.

“I appeal to anyone with information to bring it forward to the police and assist the police investigation in any way possible."

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Belfast Telegraph