Gang with hammers and bats assault man

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A 23-year-old man has been subjected to a paramilitary style attack by a gang of up to seven armed men in Belfast.

Detectives are appealing for witnesses and information following the incident near the Comber Greenway, Knock this evening.

Police said the group of six or seven men had hammers, bats and knuckle dusters, which they used in the attack around 6.30pm.

The victim was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries, which are not believed to be life threatening.

Detective Sergeant Sam McCallum appealed to anyone who may have witnessed this assault or who has information that could assist with police enquiries to contact Detectives at Musgrave on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1161 12/06/18.

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

East Belfast Ulster Unionist Councillor, Alderman Jim Rodgers, condemned the attack.

“I unreservedly condemn the shocking incident which took place tonight in which a gang of up to seven men attacked a man in his early 20s in a paramilitary style attack, using bats, hammers and knuckle dusters,” he said.

“The Comber Greenway is used by many people to walk dogs, ride bicycles and simply enjoy the peace and quiet. It is the last place where one would expect to see a brutal gang attack on a young man.

“Nobody has the right to take the law into their own hands and nobody in East Belfast wants this type of activity to be taking place. There is simply no excuse whatsoever for it and the people responsible need to be taken off the streets and brought before the courts. I urge anyone who can assist the police to catch the culprits to come forward immediately and tell what they know.”