Loyalists target former INLA man
Loyalists target former INLA man

A former republican PoW last night blamed loyalists for a pipe-bomb attack on his west Belfast home.

Gerard Foster, now a spokesman for the Irish Republican Socialist Party, said that he returned to his flat on Lenadoon Avenue on Monday night to find that a kitchen window had been smashed and a pipe-bomb thrown inside.

“I arrived home shortly before 8pm to find a pipe bomb lying between the kitchen and living room,” he said.

“A friend called the PSNI and the British army bomb squad took more than eight hours to defuse it.

“The CID detectives told me that it was a viable device and that they are treating it as attempted murder.”

Mr Foster, who had previously been warned by police on four occasions that his life was under threat from loyalist paramilitaries, said: “The cross-community work that I am involved in means that I regularly work with former UVF and UDA prisoners and even former RUC and British army personnel.

“I am someone who is working to bring the two communities together but because of that work someone is trying to kill me and my family.

“My 11-year-old daughter regularly sits in that room to do her homework and could easily have been killed if it had gone off.”

Mr Foster claimed that police had failed to publicise the bomb attack on his home properly and had given the impression that the bomb had been found on the road.

“I am angry that this attack is not being reported properly and that people are trying to down-play it and put it across as some kind of INLA stunt,” he said.

“It was a deliberate attempt to kill me and my family.”

IRSP spokesman Paul Little said his party would meet loyalist representatives to determine whether the UVF or UDA had been involved in the attack.

“We will be asking these groups to condemn this attempted murder outright and to disassociate themselves from it. Gerard Foster is a well respected community worker in west Belfast and had helped set up the local residents’ association,” he said.

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© 2008 Irish Republican News