A PSNI sergeant may be scarred for life after he was stabbed in the face by a republican youth in north Belfast, cops fear.
The officer was injured after he went to investigate an incident at a loyalist protest camp at Twaddell Avenue on Tuesday afternoon.
It is claimed the youth came across from Ardoyne and started to cut down flags and banners at the top of Twaddell Avenue.
When people came out of the civil rights camp to challenge him, other people came across the roundabout from the Sportsman’s Inn at Ardoyne and took the youth away.
PSNI officers arrived on the scene and went over to The Sportsman’s Inn to speak to the youth.
It was then that a local sergeant was slashed in the face with a ‘Stanley knife’ style weapon.
A 16-year-old youth has been arrested for wounding with intent and having an offensive weapon.
The injured policeman was taken to hospital for treatment but his injuries are not believed to be life threatening.
However, colleagues fear he has been left scarred for life because of his injuries.
Greater Shankill DUP Councillor Brian Kingston has condemned the slashing of the police officer following the second attack in a week on banners and flags at the ‘Civil Rights Camp’.
Said councillor Kingston: “Clearly this is a very serious sequence of events. I hope that the police officer will make a full recovery though it is possible that he will be left with a scar.
“This is the second time in less than a week that Republicans have attacked flags and banners at the Twaddell Camp with knives.
“This can only be viewed as an attempt to be provocative and to increase tension.
“Given this and previous attacks on the protest presence at Twaddell, it is imperative that the PSNI increase their presence in the area to prevent any further incidents.
“I appeal for calm and for people with influence in Ardoyne to do what they can to prevent these sectarian attacks from occurring.
“I urge anyone who can assist the police investigation into these and previous incidents to pass on whatever information they have,” he added.