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Paramilitary-style shootings need to end

This week marked the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which aimed to build a peaceful society where the rule of the gun was consigned to the past.

And while significant progress has been made there remains a hardcore element determined to exert control in certain districts by force of arms.

On Thursday night a 20-year-old man was shot in both legs at Ardmonagh Parade in the Turf Lodge area of west Belfast.

The man was take to hospital where it is believed his injuries are not life threatening.

While the particular circumstances of this attack are not clear, there is a something especially chilling about such incidents which often involve forcing someone to lie on the ground while a gunman cold-bloodedly shoots them in the limbs.

There is a barbarity to this type of crime which has been repeated hundreds of times in Belfast, Derry and elsewhere as certain individuals take it upon themselves to act as judge and jury.

Such paramilitary-style attacks were not acceptable during the Troubles and they are not acceptable now.

All those engaged in shootings and beatings need to stop.

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