Belfast attack: Police renew witness appeal

Police today stepped up efforts to catch those responsible for a gun attack in north Belfast.

Police today stepped up efforts to catch those responsible for a gun attack in north Belfast.

The attack, believed to have been carried out by loyalists, took place yesterday in the flashpoint Limestone Road area, when a number of shots were fired through the front window of the home of a young Catholic woman in Park End Street. Nobody was injured.

Detectives revisited the scene earlier today to question residents about people or vehicles seen in the area at the time of the shooting, and have renewed their appeal for witnesses.

The Limestone Road has seen a number of sectarian clashes in recent days.

Rival Loyalist and Nationalist gangs confronted each other in the area last Saturday and Sunday but were kept apart by police and the Army.

Sinn Fein Assembly member Gerry Kelly accused the mainstream Loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Defence Association, of responsibility.

‘‘This is the UDA’s Christmas present to the people of north Belfast,’’ he said.

‘‘This young woman is very lucky to be alive and we are fortunate not to have a death on our hands.

Locals said the gunmen tried to get into the house through the back but opened fire through the front window when they failed.

It was thought that four or five shots were fired and one bullet lodged in the wall of the front room.

The attack was also condemned by nationalist SDLP Assembly member for North Belfast Alban Maginness, who called for an end to violence.

‘‘This is a shocking attack on a woman and her young family. There is no doubt that they are very lucky to be alive,’’ he said.

‘‘This is part and parcel of ongoing intimidation and violence being carried out against families in North Belfast.

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