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Belfast: Woman hit by mortar shells in racist attack

Belfast: Woman hit by mortar shells in racist attack

Image source, Google Maps

Image description, The woman was attacked on London Road in Belfast as she walked home from work

A woman was hit in the face by mortar shell fragments in a racist attack in east Belfast, police said.

The victim was on her way home from work on Sunday evening when up to six young people started throwing objects at her on London Road in the east of the city.

She suffered a minor injury in the racially motivated hate crime that is being investigated by police.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that the woman was hit in the face with a grenade launcher as she tried to talk to children who were throwing stones at her.

According to the newspaper, the woman’s family left their home in the area after being subjected to racist abuse two nights in a row.

“Frightening”

Peter McReynolds, Alliance MP for East Belfast, told BBC News NI he had viewed footage of the incident and described it as “appalling”.

“It doesn’t represent east Belfast, it doesn’t represent the people of the area. It was horrifying to see someone go through that. My sincere condolences go out to that family,” McReynolds said.

He said there could be anti-social behaviour in the area, adding that there had been a sustained police presence in the past.

However, he added that the area was also “quite quiet and the residents are nice, lovely people who care deeply about better representation.”

Image description, Peter McReynolds says the incident is “not representative of East Belfast”

The MP said he knew that one of the young people involved was between eight and nine years old.

“I think unfortunately some people have grown up with the idea that this is normal behaviour. We need to show them that this is not how a normal Northern Ireland in 2024 works,” McReynolds said.

“We need education, we need learning, we need to understand that these measures are neither appropriate nor accepted in Northern Ireland in 2024,” he added.

Speaking about the victim, McReynolds said he would urge her “not to think badly of Belfast.”

“I think it’s just a handful of individuals who behave this way.”

“Racially motivated”

A police spokesman confirmed that officers received a report on Saturday that a homeowner in the London Road area had been pelted with water bombs.

He said this would also be treated as a “racially motivated hate incident.”

The police are asking witnesses to contact them.