Loyalists blamed for stabbing

Latest victim in area was attacked by men in a car

Sinn Fein say loyalist paramilitaries were responsible for the stabbing of a teenager in north Belfast.

The victim, an 18-year-old Catholic, was walking along Floral Park in the Whitewell Road area at about midnight on Sunday when a car with a number of men on board, pulled up beside him.

One man got out and attacked him.

He then jumped back into the car which sped off towards the Shore Road.

The car was later found burned out at the Loughside Recreation Centre.

The victim is in hospital where he is being treated for what doctors say are "serious" stab wounds.

Last week, two Protestant bandsmen were stabbed in the stomach and head at the bottom of Whitewell Road, north Belfast, as they made their way home, following a parade in Sandy Row.

Sinn Fein claims the Ulster Defence Association was responsible for last night's attack, timed - they say - to coincide with the build up to next week's political talks.

Cllr Danny Lavery, SF said: "I condemn the loyalist stabbings. I condemn this as well.

"This has been pre-arranged. People in the Whitewell Road have been expecting this."

However, Tommy Kirkham of the Ulster Political Research Group, the political wing of the Ulster Defence Association, said: "There is no evidence that the UDA were involved in last night's attack.

"I would like to condemn the attack. We have been calling for calm. And we have been calling for appeals to the community to get together and get this resolved."

The DUP MP for North Belfast, Nigel Dodds, is calling for an increased police presence in the area.

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