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No justification for savage paramilitary-style attacks

The abduction and assault of a young man in Strabane on Thursday night is the latest serious paramilitary-style attack this week.

The 22-year-old was pulled into a van in the Carlton Drive area, had a hood placed over his head and his hands and feet bound before he was driven some distance outside the town.

He was then subjected to a brutal beating by a number of men who left him with dreadful injuries.

The man was then driven back to Strabane where he was dumped in Bradley Way.

By any standards this was a horrific and savage attack on a man who was tied up and unable to defend himself.

Thankfully, his injuries are not life threatening but he has suffered an extremely traumatic ordeal which is likely to have long-lasting effects.

Police say paramilitary involvement is one line of inquiry and there is no doubt this horrific incident will cause widespread concern.

It comes only two days after a man was shot four times in a paramilitary-style attack in Derry.

The 33-year-old was hit in the stomach and legs in the shooting which took place in Lisfannon Park on Tuesday night.

This was a profoundly disturbing crime in a number of respects. Children were playing in the area at the time and were said to be left terrified and distressed after the man was discovered lying against a wall.

Local political representatives also suggested the victim may have been shot by appointment.

There can be no possible justification for this despicable and barbaric attack.

Those who ordered it and carried it out have absolutely no right to set themselves up as the arbiters of law and order in Derry or anywhere else.

Earlier this week dissident republicans were blamed for throwing a pipe bomb into the home of a 65-year-old woman which landed on her bed while she was in it.

Luckily, it failed to explode otherwise she could have been killed or maimed.

These violent incidents sum up what paramilitary organisations have to offer.

They are not champions of justice and freedom but bullies and thugs who are a blight on their local communities.

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