Northern Ireland news

Appeal to end social media speculation following Short Strand 'blade' attack

Police are appealing for information following an assault in east Belfast's Short Strand area on Saturday.
Paul Ainsworth

AN appeal has been made for people to refrain from "speculation and rumour" on social media following an assault in east Belfast that left a man hospitalised with blade injuries.

A man in his 20s sustained "serious injuries to his hand" in the incident in the Bryson Street area of Short Strand at around 3.40pm on Saturday.

It is understood he was attacked with a "bladed weapon".

A PSNI spokesperson said the man had been assaulted by a group of people, adding that he was "taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries, which are not believed to be life threatening at this time".

They added: "It is believed the suspects made off down Mountford Street following the attack. Our enquiries are ongoing and we would ask anyone who was in the area and saw anything, or who may have dashcam or other footage to contact us on 101 quoting reference 1167 of 11/12/21."

Short Strand Sinn Féin representative Mairéad O'Donnell condemned the discussion of the incident in some corners of social media, and appealed for people not to spread speculation online.

In a statement posted to social media on Saturday, she said: "While we still do not have the full facts of what occurred today I would ask that you please do not add to these speculations.

"There is a young male in hospital with a stab wound and I'm sure he has a family who at this moment are very concerned. I'm sure too there are some very concerned families with the rumours and names being thrown into the mix."

The former Belfast City Council member added: "There is no place for knives or this kind of violent behaviour within our community."

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Northern Ireland news