Northern Ireland

Talks follow sectarian attack in west Belfast

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Media captionCars and home were targeted on Friday night

Politicians, community leaders, residents and the police are due to take part in talks following a sectarian attack in west Belfast.

The window of a house and four vehicles were targeted in Ringford Park in Suffolk on Friday.

It is understood nationalist youths were involved in the attack in a loyalist area.

One issue being raised is a claim that at the weekend a police officer advised residents to move out of the area.

The police officer said to the lady 'well if incidents like this keep occurring, then maybe you should consider packing up and moving out," the DUP's Ruth Patterson said.

"There are questions to be answered here - police officers are here to police and protect this community, not to give advice on to where that community should be heading."

Police said they were aware of the claim and were investigating it.

Some Catholic residents visited the estate to voice their opposition to the attacks.

The police are treating the attack as a hate crime. Political representatives claimed up to 100 youths were involved.

The police said they had earlier been called out to a house party in Brooke Drive. Some youths had moved into the street and there were scuffles.

The police said there were between 50 to 100 youths in the area but they said no offences were noted in regard to this incident.

One resident told the BBC: "They were like animals, that's how you would describe them, animals.

"If there had have been anybody on this road there would have been a murder scene - that's how bad it was."

Sinn Fein councillor Matt Garrett also condemned the attacks as sectarian.

SDLP MLA for West Belfast Alex Attwood described the attack in Suffolk as "appalling" and said those responsible "must face the full rigours of the law".

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