Northern Ireland

Man shot in the legs in west Belfast after hammer attack

The shooting happened in the Whiterock Drive area of west Belfast
Image caption The shooting happened in the Whiterock Drive area of west Belfast

A 24-year-old man has been shot a number of times in both legs during an incident in west Belfast.

The shooting happened at about 19:00 GMT on Friday in the Whiterock Drive area.

Police said a number of men in dark clothing entered a house and struck the man over the head with a hammer before shooting at his knees and ankles in a back yard.

The man is in a stable condition in hospital.

His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Image caption The man is in a stable condition in hospital

PSNI Det Insp Michael McDonnell said it was "a brutal and callous attack in a residential area where other residents or passers-by could have been injured".

"The victim was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries, which are serious and potentially life-changing," he said.

"Two females, a 17-year-old and a 21-year-old who were in the property at the time and who witnessed this horrific attack, were left extremely shaken."

Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey condemned the attack and said such "actions should stop immediately".