Teenagers targeted in sectarian campaign
Teenagers targeted in sectarian campaign

A young girl has been attacked in a third sectarian attack on young nationalists in north Belfast in as many weeks.

Fifteen-year-old Laura Cleary was walking to her home with a friend shortly after 10pm on Monday night when they were chased by a car.

The car contained three men and a women got out and, after grabbing her, punched her to the ground.

The men, who were carrying sticks, knocked her unconscious.

Her teenage friend managed to escape and raise the alarm.

Laura’s father Martin said his daughter suffered a terrifying ordeal.

“A car drove up the street and started shouting abuse at them and they ran away,” he said.

“The car chased them - they got out and there were three men and a woman in it - they got out and caught my daughter.

“The other girl escaped and ran back down to my house - when they caught my wee girl, one of them banged her head off the ground and knocked her out and hit her a big kick on the ribs.

“She was unconscious for five or 10 minutes.”

Local councillor David Kennedy descrived the attack as “an act of cowardice”.

“Those responsible picked a very easy target and attacked two vulnerable teenage girls.”

Mr Kennedy pointed out that the attack took place only yards from a PSNI police camera placed on the Serpentine Road interface.

He urged all nationalists, especially in North Belfast, to be vigilant over the Christmas period.

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