Irish Republican News · May 14, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Unionists paramilitaries up violence level

Sectarian attacks have increased over the past week, culminating in a machete attack in which a Catholic man almost bled to death in North Belfast.

The man almost lost his ear in the attack and lost so much blood that doctors said he was lucky to be alive.

The man said he was walking home along the Cliftonville Road when a car pulled up and three men jumped out.

They shouted, “Get the Fenian Bastard”, and struck him with a machete, which opened a wound from his eardrum to the base of his skull.

The man now says he is so traumatised by the attack that he does not want to return to his flat, which overlooks the scene of the attack.

A group of Catholic schoolboys were also attacked by a hammer wielding gang in the same area, while vehicles belonging to members of a Catholic football team were damaged as they turned out for a game in Ballymena.

The referee was forced to abandon the match against the Protestant Dale Farm team after a sectarian mob threw bottles and other missiles onto the pitch.

Meanwhile, unionist paramilitaries have been accused of conducting a campaign of terror against a 19 year old Ballymena man. Death threats against the man have been phoned into a local radio station, naming his address. The PSNI police have also visited his home on two separate occasions to warn him of a threat to his life.

And in South Belfast, unionist paramilitaries appear to be attempting to raise tensions in advance of the marching season.

A group of 40 masked men were reported to have driven into McClure street from the Donegall Pass area on Tuesday night and threatened local residents.

Local councillor Alex Maskey said a “particularly worrying” aspect of the incident was that phones on the unionist side of the interface were switched off and it proved impossible to set up contact until after midnight.

Unionist paramilitaries were also blamed today for a gun attack near Belfast on the home of a man living under a death threat in an apparent dispute over turf.

Mark Stubbs was at home when the front of his house was sprayed with gunfire.

The living room window was shattered as five bullets hit walls of the house on the southern outskirts of the city. Mr Stubbs said a number of death threats had been made against him and a number of other people in this area.

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© 2005 Irish Republican News