Northern Ireland

Children left ‘petrified’ after Co Tyrone petrol bomb attack

Man and four children flee Dungannon home

Damage caused by a petrol bomb thrown at a home in Dungannon. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN

A Co Tyrone woman has told how her children have been left “petrified” after petrol bombs were thrown at her home in a case of mistaken identity.

The victim’s husband and his four children, aged between 3 – 10, were forced to flee the house in the Killymaddy Hill area of Dungannon at around 3am on Thursday.

Two petrol bombs were thrown at the property, causing scorch damage to the front door.

It is understood a second device struck a window frame.

The children’s mother, who was at work at the time, said she has been left “traumatised”.

“In fact, it could have been potentially a lot worse, I could have come home to a lot worse,” she said.

“I was fearful for my kids and for my husband.”

The woman said she and her family have now left their home and are staying with relatives.

“My kids are absolutely petrified, they are fearful of going home, they don’t want to go home,” she said.

She added that the incident had particularly impacted her twin children.

“My ten-year-olds are autistic and something like this, that has taken them out of their routines and taken them out of their home, has really impacted them.”

She said her children will be kept off school for the rest of the week.

“They have seen that first hand, they were at the top of the stairs and just saw fire and there was just panic,” she said.

She added that she has “no idea” why her family was singled out.

“We are a quiet family and keep ourselves to ourselves and we have no issues with nobody,” she said.

She believes it may have been a case of mistaken identity adding that police believe her house was also targeted by mistake.

Independent councillor Barry Monteith said: “I have spoken to the family and they are very distressed at this horrendous act. This is a reckless and disgraceful attack. We could have had a tragedy from this.”

A spokesman for the PSNI said “inquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident”.