APPEALS FOR CALM AS FOUR-YEAR-OLD GIRL INJURED BY PETROL BOMB IN EAST BELFAST

The scene of the petrol bomb attack in Short Strand which left a four-year-old girl with minor injuries

The scene of the petrol bomb attack in the Short Strand district of east Belfast which left a four-year-old girl with minor injuries

DETECTIVES have launched an investigation after a child was injured by a petrol bomb in east Belfast.

The attack has led to appeals for calm as tensions mount in the Short Strand interface area.

The PSNI say the incident happened while a group of children were playing in Bryson Street on Tuesday afternoon.

According to police, the ignited petrol bomb is believed to have been thrown into the road from over the interface.

Sinn Féin councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile said young girl suffered minor injuries and has been left “shaken and frightened”.

“This happened in broad daylight, in the middle of a sunny afternoon, when kids are coming home from school and out playing in the street.

“There’s no doubt that this could have been very, very serious.

“I would make a very strong call to community leaders, to political leaders, as we head into the summer months.

“We all have a responsibility – as do the PSNI – to ensure that we don’t have a bad summer, that we are able to have a peaceful summer for everyone.”

It is understood that detectives are examining CCTV footage of the area, amid an appeal for witnesses or anyone with information to contact them.

Police say tensions are high in the area and that they have received reports of stones being thrown between different areas across the interface.

The petrol bomb incident comes after a separate incident on Sunday, when a petrol bomb was thrown from the Short Strand into Cluan Place.

A 15-year-old boy was arrested for arson and has since been released pending further enquiries.

Police are appealing for calm and a spokesperson added: “A number of young people gathered at the interface last night.

“Police would ask parents to ensure that they know the whereabouts of their children, to ensure that they do not get drawn into any violence or anti-social behaviour at interfaces.”

Loyalists show off missiles they say have been thrown from Short Strand into Thistle Court

Loyalists show off missiles they say have been thrown from Short Strand into Thistle Court

Loyalist community workers in the area are working to keep young people away from interface areas and getting into trouble.

One loyalist said: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.

“There have been missiles thrown from the Short Strand into Cluan Place and Thistle Court over the last few days.

“Now a petrol has been thrown into the Short Strand. We want to end this before it escalates.”

Trouble has been brewing in the area since the weekend.

Belfast Daily reported on Monday night of a heavy police presence on the streets of east Belfast.

Large crowds gathered along the interface at Short Strand and Newtownards Road.

Locals say up to 40 police landrovers with Tactical Support Group officers were on the scene.

The crowds soon dispersed after local community representatives appeared on the scene to bring calm to the volatile situation.

On Sunday night, trouble flared in the area after a teenager lobbed a petrol bomb into Cluan Place.

Fireworks, bottles and other missiles were also thrown during disturbances in east Belfast.

It happened after police responded to reports that around 80 youths had gathered in the Castlereagh Street area.

Police said no injuries had been reported during the trouble.

A 39-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of disorderly behaviour and provocative conduct.

 

 

 

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