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Second bus in two weeks torched in unionist neighborhood of Belfast

Monday, November 8th 2021 - 09:00 UTC
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“It was reported that four men got onto the bus and ordered passengers off before the bus was then set alight”, said the police release “It was reported that four men got onto the bus and ordered passengers off before the bus was then set alight”, said the police release

Four men hijacked and set fire to a double-deck bus in Newtownabbey, Belfast, Northern Ireland. According to the police report, the driver and a small number of passengers were able to leave the bus before it was torched, with no reports of injuries, but the vehicle was a total loss.

“It was reported that four men got onto the bus and ordered passengers off before the bus was then set alight”, said the police release, adding that, “Church Road is currently closed and diversions are in place and police would ask members of the public to avoid the area”.

It's the second time in recent weeks that a bus has been hijacked and set on fire in Northern Ireland. A similar incident last week appeared to be linked to psot-Brexit issues, and the controversial customs border between Ireland (northern and Eire) and Britain.

Democratic Unionist Party chief Jeffrey Donaldson said “such criminal behavior could lead to death or serious injury,” and “only harms local people and local communities.”

“Such criminal behaviour could lead to death or serious injury,” he tweeted. “This only harms local people and local communities. It serves no cause whatsoever. The ringleaders should step back. Change is brought about by politics not by burning buses.”

The attack in the overwhelmingly unionist neighborhood comes weeks after Donaldson warned he would withdraw his party from Northern Ireland's cross-community government unless Britain won important concessions from the European Union over trade protocol at Northern Ireland's ports.

After Sunday's incident, member of the Northern Legislative Assembly and Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon tweeted: “Buses are paid for and owned by the people of Northern Ireland... What does this madness achieve?!”

Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) leader Doug Beattie also took to social media to condemn the attack. “Terrorising society with the hope of achieving what exactly?” he tweeted “This is utterly pathetic and it needs to stop. Those responsible do not represent the overwhelming majority who just want a peaceful society.”

Categories: Politics, International.

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