Northern Ireland

Two found in Monaghan after kidnap and robbery

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Media captionJustyn Galloway: "It's an attack not only on the victims...it's an attack on the community as a whole"

Police have said a Belfast family targeted by kidnappers have been left deeply traumatised.

A man, his 16-year-old son and his partner, were having dinner on Wednesday night when masked men broke in and held them at gunpoint.

The teenager and the woman were taken to Co Monaghan in the Irish Republic.

The man - a security van driver - was ordered to get money from work. Police will not say how much was handed over, but it is thought to be about £200,000.

It was handed over at Muckamore industrial estate outside Antrim town on Thursday.

Up to 10 men were involved in the kidnapping, police said.

The woman and teenage boy were taken from Belfast to Mullyash, near Castleblayney, in the back of a van. They were then locked in a shed.

The kidnappers then set the van alight. The fire was spotted by someone in the area who contacted Irish police.

The woman and teen were found at about 20:00 BST on Thursday, 24 hours after the gang first entered their west Belfast home.

Image caption The woman and boy were taken to Castleblaney

It is believed they were given food during their ordeal but spent much of the time with pillow cases over their heads.

Police believe a criminal gang was involved and are investigating whether there is any link to dissident republicans.

Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway said the family had been in no doubt "if they did not co-operate and comply with the instructions that their lives would be in danger".

"We are dealing with a 16-year-old boy and two adults who have had their privacy invaded and the terrifying ordeal of being removed and kept at a location overnight," he said.

Police want to trace two vehicles used by the gang, a white van seen near the family's home at Teeling Grove, Lagmore, on Wednesday and a brown hatchback seen in Muckamore the following day.

There have been four so-called "tiger kidnappings" in Northern Ireland this year.

Police on both sides of the border are investigating the incident.