Three Catholic men escaped serious injury this week after their car was attacked by up to a dozen loyalists wielding baseball bats and iron bars.
The attack took place in south Belfast at around 1pm on Thursday when up to a dozen loyalists attacked a car as it was stopped at traffic lights.
The gang shouted sectarian slogans at the driver before smashing the car windows with baseball bats and iron bars.
Two teenagers in the car, aged 17 and 19, were hit around the shoulders with iron bars.
The gang attempted to drag the teenagers out of the car but the driver managed to make an escape onto the Donegall Road.
However the gang later caught up with the car again and attacked it. The teenagers received minor injuries but were left shocked.
A mother of the driver, who was too afraid to be named, said her sons had been traumatised by the attack.
“My son came into the house dripping in blood,’’ she said.
“We did not know what had happened.
“They were lucky that the car had central locking because that stopped them being dragged out of the car.
“God knows what would have happened if they had got them boys out of the car.”
“The boys are still in shock but we are just thankful that they are still alive.
“It is unbelievable that this kind of thing could happen in broad daylight on a busy main road.”
In the early hours of yesterday morning, a Catholic woman in Ardoyne had her home attacked in Kerrera in an apparent attempt to heighten tensions ahead of the ‘Tour of the North’ parade.
Loyalist slogans were shouted and the windows on the front of the house were smashed. The woman has since been taken to hospital suffering from heart problems.
“Last nights attack on the home of this vulnerable woman has obviously caused anger within the local community,” said local SF representative Kathy Stanton.
“I would appeal to local people to remain calm in the face of this provocation from unionist paramilitaries.”