Northern Ireland

Man slashed with machete in west Belfast burglary.

A man in his 20s has been slashed with a machete in a west Belfast burglary.

Three men wielding knives and a baseball bat broke into the man's apartment at Ladybrook Cross at 20:00 GMT on Friday.

The homeowner and a friend who was visiting were both tied up. The man was slashed in the thigh.

The burglars stole cash, car keys and the house keys.

Sinn Fein councillor for the Upper Falls area, Matthew Garrett, described the attack in Ladybrook Cross as "sinister".

"My immediate reaction is one of shock. It is a quiet area with a lot of families who just work and get on with their daily lives," he said.

"It is sinister that they (the thieves) are prepared to use violence simply to get cars.

"In the Upper Falls there has been an increase in burglaries, but these are generally creeper burglaries. This is more sinister."

Image caption Sinn Fein councillor Matthew Garrett said the attack was sinister

Attempted robberies

Mr Garrett said he would be requesting an urgent meeting with the district commander of the police to try and tackle the issue.

There were also two attempted armed robberies in Aughnacloy on Friday night.

A masked man with a shovel entered a filling station on the Caledon Road at about 20:30 GMT, but was chased away by employees.

Two hours later, two masked men tried and failed to gain entry to a closed shop in the Bellanaleck area.

The same car is believed to have been used in both attempts.