Blast bomb attack on Belfast home


A south  Belfast man whose home was attacked with a blast bomb said he has no idea why his family was targeted. The couple and their five-year-old grandson escaped injury in the attack in the loyalist Village area.

Security sources said the device was a large firework with bolts and ball-bearings attached. It was thrown through the window of a house in Monarch Street, off the Donegall Road, early yesterday.

The couple and their grandson were sleeping upstairs. There was shrapnel damage and burn marks to the front of the house.

The Northern Secretary, Dr John Reid, condemned the incident. "Every one of these attacks is not only a threat to individuals; it is also a threat indirectly to jobs, to employment, to investment and to a better future."

Petrol bombs were thrown by nationalist protesters and several plastic bullets fired following a controversial Orange Order march in Portadown, Co Armagh, on Saturday. A large security operation was mounted along the Garvaghy Road before the parade.

British soldiers and police officers surrounded around 40 junior Orangemen and a loyalist flute band who took part in the parade.

The lodge marched from Shillington's Bridge to the lower end of the Garvaghy Road, where screens and heavy military vehicles separated nationalist residents from the marchers.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen White said the event had passed off with relatively little trouble compared to last year's march.

Eight petrol bombs were thrown at the security forces and police fired two plastic bullets, he said. One man was arrested.

Police kept nationalist and loyalist crowds apart along the peace line in north Belfast yesterday. Nationalists claimed the trouble began when loyalists erected Union Jacks and Israeli flags in the North Queen Street area.