Loyalists bomb Short Strand
Loyalists bomb Short Strand


Two pipe bombs were thrown by loyalists at nationalist homes in east Belfast on Monday, but they failed to explode.

Homes at Strand Walk in the nationalist Short Strand enclave were evacuated twice in 24 hours after each bomb were discovered by residents.

The second device was taken to waste ground to be exploded, in view of passing trains and the Hilton Hotel, where wealthy tourists were arriving for the Irish Open golf tournament.

An 80-year-old pensioner who found the device in his garden said he had lived in his home for 57 years and had become used to “trouble”.

“Between golf balls, bolts and nuts lying in my back garden and petrol bombs - it has been going on for so long, they say you get used to it, but you have to live with it,” he said.

Sinn Fein councillor Niall O Donnghaile said elderly and infirm residents had been left “shaken”.

“This is a deliberate attempt to stoke up tensions and people should not to allow themselves to be drawn into a negative agenda which a minority in east Belfast appear intent on pursuing,” Mr O Donnghaile said.

One woman suffering from cancer was too ill to leave her home during the first evacuation. Almost all of the residents in the nationalist Strand Walk area, which runs along the interface with the loyalist Newtownards Road, are pensioners.

The incident has been connected to the sectarian loyalist marching season which is ongoing and reaches a climax in July. Band parades, both legal and illegal, have been taking place daily in east Belfast.

On Saturday, a group of children waving Union Jack flags blocked a street in what the PSNI described as an illegal band parade.

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