Northern Ireland news

Sinn Féin: 'UVF were behind attack on man in Larne'

A man in his mid-twenties has been attacked at his flat in Larne, Co Antrim

FOUR men armed with nail-studded bats have attacked a man in Co Antrim in an assault a Sinn Féin representative has blamed on the UVF.

The man, believed to be in his mid-twenties and originally from eastern Europe, was attacked in his flat on Upper Waterloo Road in Larne at around 10pm on Monday.

The men forced their way into the flat and assaulted the man with bats studded with nails.

The man, who is thought to have previously lived in the Shankill area of west Belfast and Newtownabbey, was treated in hospital for a head injury and several puncture wounds.

Police said they are investigating and are following several lines of enquiry. A police spokesman appealed for information.

Sinn Féin representative Oliver McMullan, a former MLA for East Antrim, said he believed the UVF were behind the attack.

He called on the leadership of the paramilitary group to condemn the assault, which came just over a month after loyalists, including the UVF, made a joint statement distancing themselves from criminality.

Loyalists with links to the UDA, UVF and Red Hand Commando issued the statement on the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement last month, saying they fully support the rule of law and suggested any members involved in crime will be expelled.

Mr McMullan said the UVF leadership must intervene in ongoing paramilitary attacks in Larne.

"What the UVF in Larne are doing is the complete opposite of what their leadership said they want to do," he said.

"This needs to stop. What kind of animals were behind this? It's time that the leadership of the UVF comes out publicly to say they completely condemn this."

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