LOYALIST PETROL BOMB ATTACK ON ALLIANCE OFFICE IN EAST BELFAST

Loyalist protestors outside Alliance HQ earlier this year

Loyalist protestors outside Alliance HQ earlier this year

DETECTIVES have launched an investigation after a petrol bomb attack at the Alliance Party office in east Belfast.

Police say two petrol bombs were thrown at offices of Naomi Long MP on the Upper Newtownards Road around 10.45 pm on Saturday night.

One of the petrol bombs caught light on the street however it was put out by a passing police patrol. The other device did not catch light.

The PSNI believe a man wearing a red hooded top was involved in the incident. He was seen running off towards the direction of Finvoy Street.

Naomi Long condemned the attack. Her office had been targeted by loyalist protestors earlier this year.

And on Saturday, a man was charged over a hoax pipe bomb alert at the offices last month.

“This is not an attack on an individual party or office, it is an attack on democracy,” she said.

“There can be no justification for this and there is no place for this kind of violence on our streets.”

There have been a number of previous attacks on the building and the homes of Alliance Party members since a Belfast City Council vote on the flying of the union flag at city hall at the start of December last year.

UUP party councillor Jim Rodgers said: “No-one has the right to break the law and it’s time that the people who are behaving in this way stop forthwith.

“We all want to try and move forward regardless of religion, colour, class or creed and that’s not going to happen unless people start to wise up and realise that they’re only causing more division.”

Detectives at Strandtown CID have have appealed for witnesses to contact them on 0845 600 8000.

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