A West Belfast man has told of how he is lucky to be alive today after he managed to escape from the bruising clutches of three loyalists who, he says, abducted him on the Stewartstown Road.

The 28 year old who wishes to remain anonymous said the abduction was the biggest shock of his life and that there was no doubt that his life was on the line.

"One minute I was waiting for a black taxi at the side of the road to go and get my hair cut and the next I was in the back seat of a car, fighting for my life."

Last Thursday afternoon around 3.30pm, the victim from Poleglass was waiting for a black taxi outside the Dairy Farm when a black car pulled up with three men inside.

They told him to get in, which he refused to do, and then using brute force they pulled him into the back seat.

"The car drove all the way down the Stewartstown Road and then down to Finaghy crossroads where they pulled off to go down the Lisburn Road,” he said.

“Then they drove down one of those streets opposite Creighton’s Garage, which takes you to Taughmonagh, and then they stopped.

“The whole time I was fighting with this man in the back. The other two were sitting in the front and I can remember them shouting to the one in the back 'shut him up'.

"But he couldn't knock me out because I was fighting with everything I’d got, and when we stopped I heard the central locking click and I knew the doors were open so I made a run for it and I got away.

“When I looked back they were laughing."

Sinn Féin West Belfast MLA Michael Ferguson said from the nature of the attempted abduction it is clear that unionist paramilitaries remain active in targeting nationalists.

"It is extremely fortunate that this man escaped with his life. In the run-up to the Orange Order marching season it is clear that throughout Belfast unionist paramilitaries are intent on stoking up tensions.

“At the moment they appear to be engaged in a campaign to murder or seriously injure a nationalist.

"I would urge nationalists to be extremely vigilant.

“I would also call on civic, community, church and political leaders within the unionist community to engage and challenge the unionist paramilitaries to bring an end to this campaign.

“Recent ambivalent attitudes from unionist politicians in particular have done little to send out the clear message that such sectarian attacks are unacceptable."

The victim reported the incident to the PSNI a day after the abduction, however he says he received little help from staff at Woodbourne Barracks about his plight.

"When I told them about it they asked me why did it take me so long to report it. I told them I was in shock about the whole thing and was only able to get my wits about me that day.

“They said I was just in it to get a claim. They just didn't seem to want to know about it at all.

“Finally they told me there was no one there to handle my case so I would have to go to CID headquarters in Lisburn to get it sorted. The whole way I was treated wasn't right at all.

"I left and went to Dunmurry station and got it sorted there instead.

“I got the biggest shock of my life last week and I want other people to know about it because it happened to me in broad daylight, and there's not much you can do when it’s one against three.

“It frightened the life out of me and I haven't been out since it happened," he added.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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