Loyalist protestors outside Alliance HQ

Loyalist protestors outside Alliance HQ

DETECTIVES are investigating after three petrol bombs were at the Alliance’s Party office in east Belfast last night.

The attack happened at the Newtownards Road premises around 11 pm.

Windows were smashed and the petrol bombs caused scorched damage to the building.

Fortunately, no-one was injured in the attack.

The attempted arson has been described as an “attack on democracy”.

The PSNI said that two males were seen fleeing the scene after the petrol bombs were hurled at the building.

Detectives at Strandtown CID have appealed for anyone who witnessed the attack or has information to contact them on 101 or through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

The office has been targeted a number of times before.

The Alliance Party had become the focus of loyalist anger after its compromise motion to only fly the Union flag on designated days was voted through at Belfast City Council in December 2012.

In the wake of the vote, loyalists staged almost daily flag protests at the shop.

Local Alliance MP Naomi Long described last night’s incident as “another attack on democracy”.

“If there are still people out there who think that violence and intimidation will prevent Alliance from working on behalf of the public in east Belfast, they are absolutely and totally wrong,” she said.

“My colleagues and I will not be bullied or intimidated. We will not be deflected by men of violence from carrying on the work of peace-building, and no-one should be under any illusion otherwise.”

During the flag protests, loyalists torched the Carrickfergus office of Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson.

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