THE DUP has condemned a sectarian attack on a group of Protestant youths in north Belfast.
MLA William Humphrey said teenagers from the Shankill area were making their way along North Queen Street to Yorkgate cinema on Tuesday evening, 14th May.
He said they were set upon by a larger group of nationalist youths in the New Lodge area and two were assaulted.
The intervention of a passing motorist interrupted the assault and caused the attackers to run off.
Said the MLA: “This group of male friends from the Shankill were making their way to the cinema at Yorkgate on Tuesday night when they were subjected a vicious, cowardly and totally unprovoked sectarian attack at around 7.00pm.
“As they made their way along North Queen Street, in the New Lodge area, they were approached by youths who asked where they were from. One replied that they were from the Shankill.
“They were then chased by a group of around ten older youths who caught two of them, shouting ‘We’ve got a couple of Orange Bas___ds.’
“Both were punched on the head and one was pushed over and kicked on the ground. Thankfully a passing motorist stopped and shouted at the attackers, causing them to run off and the Protestant youths were able to escape.
“I have spoken to one of the lads and his mother. They are shocked and deeply angry about this attack.
“This 13 year old attends an integrated secondary school and has many Catholic and Protestant friends.
“He has been left with bruises, a sore mouth and cuts on his arm from this sectarian assault. He has been brought up to respect people from all backgrounds, which clearly could not be said for his cowardly and bigoted attackers.
“His mother is very grateful to the motorist who stopped and prevented his injuries from being even worse.
“It is inexcusable and disgusting that he and his friends were targeted in this way.
“I would call for condemnation of this nasty hate crime from across the political spectrum and I would ask other political representatives to echo my call for anyone having knowledge of who carried out this shameful attack to come forward and pass that information on to the police.”
Anyone with information about the attack is asked to contact police on 0845 600 8000.