Northern Ireland

NI Water lorry set on fire in north Belfast attack

A lorry belonging to Northern Ireland Water contractors has been set on fire in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast.

NI Water said workers upgrading water mains were confronted by masked men carrying iron bars at Ladbrook Avenue at about 09:30 BST on Friday.

They smashed the lorry's windows then set the vehicle on fire. Police said it was believed a petrol bomb was thrown inside the cab, which was destroyed.

NI Water said it was "unwarranted, unprovoked and unnecessary".

"Our teams are there working for the good of the community to provide a safe and reliable service," a spokesperson said.

"The real shame of this situation is that it will be the local community who will suffer because of the mindless destruction of a few.

"The water mains rehab work which is presently being undertaken by NI Water is solely concerned with the improvement of the quality of water being delivered to our customers and the reduction of interruptions and leakage on the system."

The workmen were in the area as part of a £10m upgrade of water mains across north and west Belfast.

NI Water said the contractors had been withdrawn from the area "in the interests of health and safety".

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