Three men subjected a boy to a vicious beating with sticks in north Belfast while a crowd of people looked on, police have said.
Detectives are appealing for witnesses following the assault on the teenager close to the interface at North Queen Street on Saturday evening.
Detective Sergeant Keith Wilson said yesterday: “We would like to hear from anyone who saw a disturbance in this area between 7.15-8.15pm last night which resulted in a 14-year-old being assaulted.
“It was reported that three males with sticks attacked the boy while a crowd of people watched. He was able to limp away from the scene of the assault and make contact with family members. The teen was wearing a distinctive Adidas camouflage top.
“He was taken to hospital where he is currently being treated for head injuries which are not believed to be life-threatening at this time.”
Police said they are looking at whether the assault is linked to reports of anti-social behaviour in areas close to Duncairn Parade and Victoria Parade in the New Lodge area on Saturday evening.
Officers were called to Duncairn Parade after a crowd of up to 30 youths gathered in the area at about 7.20pm.
About an hour later, a police vehicle was damaged when officers were called to a bin on fire in Victoria Parade.
Sinn Fein representatives Carál Ní Chuilín and JJ Magee said children were involved in vandalism, burning bins and throwing stones at police.
Police have appealed for information on both incidents on the non-emergency number 101.