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Man escapes injury after bullets fail to penetrate his shoes

Michael McGibbon who bled to death following a botched punishment shooting in north Belfast

A MAN in his 30s, who escaped serious injury after he was shot in both feet in a paramilitary-style shooting, is a former republican.

The man was taken from a house in the Cranbrook Gardens area of Ardoyne, north Belfast, by three masked men on Wednesday night.

The victim was shot in both feet with what is thought to have been a low calibre weapon that failed to penetrate his footwear.

It is believed the man, who was involved in a dispute with republicans, suffered only minor injuries.

It is though the gunmen chose to shoot the man in the feet to avoid causing serious injury or death following recent 'botched' punishment shootings in north Belfast including the murder of taxi driver Michael McGibbon (33) in April who bled to death after a bullet severed a main artery in his thigh.

The group calling itself the new IRA claimed responsibility for the shooting. The leadership of the organisation has since ordered its members in north Belfast not to carry out any further actions following the botched attack that caused outrage in the community.

In another fatal attack in January Conor McKee died from his injuries after he was shot in the legs at his parents home in the Oldpark area in January.

While that shooting has never been claimed, a splinter group with links to the INLA, have been linked to the murder.

Meanwhile police have appealed for information after a man was shot in the leg in a paramilitary-style shooting close to St Kieran's primary school in west Belfast.

The 38-year-old was shot in Poleglass at around 10.20pm on Wednesday. He was taken to hospital where he was treated for his injuries which are not believed to be life threatening.

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