Northern Ireland

Loyalists blamed for bomb attack on house in east Belfast

The father of a man whose house was the target of a bomb attack in east Belfast has claimed there is a loyalist death threat on his son.

William Hamilton said it was the second time the house in Invernook Drive, in the Sydenham area, had been attacked this year.

A device exploded at about 20:40 GMT on Friday. The front door of the property was blown off, but no-one was injured.

It was one of two attacks in the area within the space of a few hours.

The intended target was upstairs in the house at Invernook Drive at the time of the attack.

His father has blamed loyalist paramilitaries.

William Hamilton said: "I've been talking to the UVF and the UVF gave me their word that they'd nothing do with it, not today or the first shooting. They have no beef with us and we took it that everything was alright.

"Yesterday my son got another death threat. They told him he was going to be attacked by loyalist paramilitaries and then this happened.

"I've been told through a friend that if I don't get my son off side they'll put him in a box."

On Friday night, residents from Invernook Drive either stayed with friends or in a nearby community centre.

Andrew Hunter said he was not allowed back into his house

Resident Andrew Hunter said he was not allowed back to his house, even to get his dog.

"It was too dangerous," he said.

"So we stayed with friends for a coupe of hours. My wife had to go to work, because she's a nurse.

"She went to work this morning without a uniform, without shoes. We were on the phone last night, trying to organise scrubs."

Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rodgers said the incident was deplorable.

"I strongly condemn those who were responsible," he said.

"This is the second incident in this street in the last month and it's unbelievable the inconvenience that many people have been put to.

"I would say to anybody who is involved in this type of behaviour to stop immediately. Anybody who plants a bomb or fires shots, aims to kill."

DUP councillor Tom Haire said: "It's something we don't want to happen and it doesn't further the cause of a peaceful Northern Ireland. The sooner this stops the better.

"If anyone has any information it should be given to the police."

The cordon at Invernook Drive has now been removed.

Meanwhile, about an hour after that attack, a pipe bomb was thrown through the window of a car in Tamar Street. Damage was caused to a back seat.

No one was injured. The area was evacuated but has since returned to normal.