Victim believes hit and run was murder bid - claim

Loyalists attempted to murder a Catholic man in a hit-and-run incident in North Belfast, it was claimed today.

Loyalists attempted to murder a Catholic man in a hit-and-run incident in North Belfast, it was claimed today.

The man was standing with a friend in the North Queen’s Street area when a car ploughed into him.

A Toyota Corolla which police believe may have been used in the incident was found burnt out a short time later in the loyalist Tigers Bay area.

Sinn Fein counsellor Eoin O’Brion said he believed it was a blatant attempt to murder a Catholic.

‘‘It’s our view that this was a serious attempt to cause serious injury or take a life.

‘‘That section of North Queen Street has seen a large number of attacks in recent weeks with pipe bombs and shootings and it is our view that this is the latest in a series of attacks.’’

The father of seven, who was knocked unconscious, was taken to hospital but later released.

Mr O’Brion said he had spoken to the man, who believed that this was a serious attempt to murder him.

He said: ‘‘It was his view that this was no accident. Having considered what has happened and the look at the scene he believed that they tried to kill him.’’

Police investigating the incident have appealed for anyone who saw a car being abandoned in Cultar Street in Tigers Bay to contact them.

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