Sectarian attack targets tourists
International visitors touring the north of Ireland were targeted in a sectarian attack when their vehicles were destroyed by fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The back packing tourists were evacuated from their hostel when three minibuses and a car parked outside were set alight. All four vehicles carried southern Irish registrations.
The tourists from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States were staying overnight at the Linen House Hostel in Kent Street, close to the loyalist Shankill Road. Around 150 guests were evacuated to the nearby Catholic parochial hall where they stayed for 30 minutes while the blaze was brought under control.
The total cost of the damage is estimated at around £150,000. A dismayed driver said he had only recently begun leaving the vehicles outside the hostel because he believed it was ``fairly safe''.