A woman sustained “serious facial injuries” after missiles were thrown at a bus around 5pm in Dungiven following the annual Apprentice Boys parade in Londonderry.
A PSNI spokesman said a 16-year-old youth had been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm after missiles were thrown at the vehicle on Saturday.
“The bus was carrying spectators from the Apprentice Boys parade in Londonderry home to the Belfast area,” he said.
“Three women and a man were injured when a window of the bus was shattered. One of the women sustained serious facial injuries.”
DUP MLA Nelson McCausland, who condemned the incident, said the bus had been carrying
people from north Belfast who had travelled to Londonderry “to enjoy the Apprentice Boys parade”.
“Several windows were broken and several people were injured with one woman being taken to hospital in Coleraine for treatment for cuts and the loss of teeth after she was hit in the face with a large stone,” he said.
“The people who carried out the attack must have known that hired buses passing through the village were bringing people home from the parade in Londonderry. This was a sectarian attack and should be treated as a hate crime.”
East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said “those on the bus were mainly families who travel up each year from North Belfast to enjoy the celebrations and there was nothing about the bus that could have antagonised anyone”.
“I am due to meet with senior PSNI officers about a number of issues and will raise both this incident and the general issue of the safety of people travelling through Dungiven on such occasions.”
The attack was also slammed by Limavady Councillor, Alderman Alan Robinson, who said
“this latest incident sends a message that the main Londonderry to Limavady road is out of bounds”.
He added: “This bus had women and men who are respected community workers from North Belfast travelling on it. On Saturday evening I spoke to the Deputy Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Guy Spence who represents the districts which the victims live in. He confirmed to me that those travelling on the bus are not drunken louts who would act provocatively, as some have tried to imply. These were honest, decent individuals who were having a day out and enjoying the huge cultural day in Londonderry who come under attack simply for being singled out as being Protestants.”
Also condemning the incident, Dungiven Sinn Fein Councillor Tony McCaul said that there are no excuses whatsoever for attacking any bus with stones.
“I understand a young girl is amongst those why has been injured after a stone was hurled at a bus travelling through Dungiven returning from the Apprentice Boys March in Derry,” he said.
“I hope that the girl is not too seriously injured and that she and the others makes a full and speedy recovery.
“There is no excuse for attacking a bus with stones and again we are fortunate not to be dealing with a much more serious incident where people could have been killed if the driver lost control of the vehicle.”