A four-year-old girl and a pregnant woman escaped injury in a loyalist bomb attack at their west Belfast home.
Little Holly Gallagher’s family told the child it was just a firework to avoid further upsetting her after the attack at St James Park, at about 8pm on Monday night.
The force of the blast damaged the gate which the device had been attached to and blew holes in the family car and a van.
“Could not believe that someone could come round and do that to someone who has a wee child and has such a lovely family and who works hard all their lives and they can just come round and destroy their life like that,” Holly’s mother Ciara said.
Six members of the family were inside the house at the time the bomb went off, but no one was injured.
A short time later, a second device was discovered in La Salle Park and 30 families were forced to leave their homes while bomb disposal experts made safe the area.
Chairman of the republican Felons Club, Liam Shannon -- whose home was targeted in the second attack -- said: “We had all hoped that this was in the past and this would be the end of this. Unfortunately some people want to keep it going for some reason.”
Serious clashes flared in the interface area around St James’ and Broadway following loyalist incursions over the summer.
Local Sinn Fein MLA Paul Maskey sent a message to those responsible.
“I am urging then to come forward and tell us why they thought it was a good idea to plant two bombs in St James’ last night and tell us the rationale for that because this community is very worried and very concerned,” he said.
Both families targeted in the attacks have stressed that they do not want any retaliation for what happened.
The Republican Network for Unity Spokesperson, Martin Og Meehan. strongly criticised the bomb attacks, which he said was an attempt to intimidate the “proud community” of St. James.
On behalf of the RNU, he asked nationalist and republican families and communities across Belfast to remain vigilant and offered support and solidarity to the families affected.