North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds has appealed for calm after two “sectarian” attacks in which a 52-year-old man was assaulted and property was damaged at Camp Twaddell.
Mr Dodds said that a Protestant man from upper Ardoyne was punched to the ground when he was walking home through Glenbryn Drive at 4.30am yesterday.
Later, at 8.50am, two men went across the Ardoyne roundabout and slashed 10 banners with knives at Twaddell Civil Rights Camp.
“These two sectarian attacks represent a clear attempt by certain republicans to increase tension and fears at interface communities,” said Mr Dodds.
“Those responsible are enemies of peace and good relations. The cowardly and unprovoked attack on a Protestant man making his way home was followed by an act of sectarian vandalism against the civil rights camp at Twaddell. The man received head injuries and was knocked to the ground after being called an ‘Orange B____’.”
Mr Dodds further called for the PSNI to increase their resources “in this area to provide reassurance and to prevent any further attacks”. He said the DUP plan to meet with the PSNI to discuss the situation.
Gerald Solinas, a spokesman for the Twaddell Civil Rights Camp, said: “A young woman and her child were on duty in the camp at the time of the attack.
“She saw two men outside the camp and a frenzied knife attack which caused over £1,000 of damage.
“This was a sectarian attack on the camp and terrified the young mother and her child when they saw the Stanley knife attack as they thought the pair were going to come in and attack them next.
“This was an unprovoked sectarian attack by two hooded men who made off again towards Ardoyne. The community totally condemn it and see this as the Happy Christmas message from Ardoyne.”