Irish Republican News · October 29, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Attacks blamed on loyalists
Attacks blamed on loyalists

A retired couple are the latest victims of a series of attacks at homes in Armagh town in the last week.

The husband and wife were treated for shock after a petrol bomb exploded at their home in the Lonsdale Villas area early yesterday morning.

The device was left on a ledge outside a bathroom window and exploded at around 3am, smashing the window and setting curtains on fire and causing smoke damage to the room.

It is believed that the device was attached to a firework.

There have been two other similar attacks in the Armagh area within the last week

Loyalists have also been blamed for forcing a pregnant woman to flee her Armagh home just a week after she moved into the area.

The woman was in her house in the Lisannally Gardens area of the city on Sunday when windows were smashed and a flammable device was thrown at the front of the property.

The attack damaged the front door of the bungalow and shattered windows.

The pregnant woman was not injured but was taken to hospital suffering from shock.

Last Wednesday, a Swedish family were forced to flee their home when four shots were fired at the Ard Ri Gardens property. A five-year-old girl was showered with glass in the incident, which prompted the family to move out of the area.

ARSON

A major fire at a west Belfast house, which led to a family-of-eight fleeing their home, may have been caused deliberately.

The fire began in Lenadoon after an oil tank at the rear of their property was set alight at around 4am yesterday.

Eamonn Fitzsimmons, who was in the house with his wife and six children said that their lives were saved because one of them woke up in time.

``My wife just happened to wake up in the middle of the morning and see the fire,'' he said.

``We just tried to get everyone out of the house. We have a disabled son and six children between the ages of 14 and 25. We just wanted to make sure everybody was out.''

It is believed that the fire alarm had been disconnected in the house.

The intensity of the flames are understood to have melted the plastic tank, causing the oil to ignite and spread to the kitchen.

The kitchen was destroyed in the blaze and the front and upstairs room suffered severe smoke damage.

Neighbours, including an 84-year-old man, were also evacuated following fears that the fire would spread beyond the end-terrace house.

The intensity of the heat also damaged a property in the adjacent Buncrana Gardens.

Martha Monaghan said that she and her family ran into the street on hearing the shouts from their neighbours.

``We just grabbed whatever we could and ran out. They were shouting for us to call the fire brigade. I don't have a house phone so I ran to a neighbours and asked them to call,'' she said.

``We weren't back in our house until after 7.30am.''

© 2003 Irish Republican News