Northern Ireland

Man left with serious burns following 'callous' acid attack in Belfast

Saturday's attack happened in the Sunwich Street area of east Belfast.
Saturday's attack happened in the Sunwich Street area of east Belfast. Saturday's attack happened in the Sunwich Street area of east Belfast.

A MAN has been left in a serious condition in hospital after suffering burns in a "callous" acid attack in east Belfast.

The victim, who is in his 20s and is understood to be a foreign national, was targeted in Sunwich Street in the Ravenhill Road area of the city at around 6.30pm on Saturday.

Police said the man had been driving in the area and was followed by another vehicle. Upon stopping his car, a number of people got out of the other vehicle and one of the suspects threw a corrosive liquid at the victim.

The rear window of the victim's car was also smashed with a blunt object before the suspects got back into their vehicle and fled the scene.

The man was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to hospital, where he remained on Sunday evening in a serious condition.

Police said he suffered burns to his face and upper body.

Read more: Man injured in suspected acid attack in Newry

“Our investigation is underway to determine who was involved and a motive behind this attack," a PSNI spokesperson said.

“I would appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time and saw anything, or who may have dash-cam, CCTV or other video footage, to contact us on 101, quoting reference 1354 of 05/08/23.”

East Belfast DUP councillor Ruth Brooks told the Irish News: "This was a callous attack that could leave the victim with serious life-long injuries, and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

"I would plead with anyone in the area with information on this, or who may have footage that could assist police in their investigation, to contact them. It is shocking that anyone could resort to this kind of violence, and my thoughts are with the victim at this time."

The attack comes days after a man was attacked with bleach in the Coleraine area. A man in his 20s was offered first-aid after a male poured a bottle of bleach over him in the Church Street area of the town last Wednesday. The victim did not require hospital treatment and a 68-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault and later released on police bail.

Last year saw two suspected acid attacks reported in the north, with a homeless man in his 20s suffering serious burn injuries when a liquid was thrown at him in the Botanic Avenue area of south Belfast in April 2022. A 39-year-old man was later arrested, while the victim was left with burns to his face, neck and chest.

The following month, a man was attacked by a group in the Chancellor's Hall area of Newry and had had a corrosive liquid thrown at him.

He was treated for burn injuries and also sustained a broken arm during the assault, and to date no-one has been charged in connection with the incident.