Loyalist violence and intimidation

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Dozens of workers have been forced to abandon a construction site in the loyalist Rathcoole estate in Newtownabbey after sectarian death threats against them were sprayed on nearby hoardings.

The Housing Executive contractors were carrying out work for the construction of social housing.

Threatening graffiti was painted on the site hoarding. One of the messages appears to include the address of two people being targeted in the threats. One read ‘republican scum keep out’, while another read ‘all workers will be shot’.

Sinn Féin MP John Finucane said the threats are “unacceptable”.

“The people of north Belfast are crying out for more social and affordable homes. The people behind this threat have nothing to offer and have no regard for the needs of the local community,” he said.

Meanwhile, a man is in hospital after losing his front teeth and having his neck stamped on during a vicious loyalist attack in the Dunmurry area of west Belfast.

A group of four men who shouted slurs in the direction of the man and his partner before one of them them then launched at the victim. The others then joined in the attack.

The victim, who did not wish to be identified, was kicked and punched around the upper body and head, resulting in his front teeth being knocked out. A shoe mark was left on the side of his neck.

Both he and his partner have been left badly shaken from the incident.

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