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Homes of Polish immigrants attacked in Belfast, No. Ireland

Jan. 18, 2014 at 1:18 AM   |   Comments

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Investigators believe attacks on the homes of Polish immigrants in Northern Ireland's capital are the work of a small group of people, police said Friday.

There have been seven attacks in 10 days, the Belfast Telegraph reported, including three Thursday night. The victims all live in East Belfast.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said the attacks were being treated as hate crimes.

"These attacks, although they are deliberate and they are targeted, we believe are the work of a small group of people and it is not a reflection of the overall way in which minority communities have integrated in east Belfast," Chief Inspector Mark McEwen said.

Anna Bloch said a brick was thrown through the window of the house she shares with her mother and stepfather Thursday night and another one at her brother's nearby home. Another home in the area was also attacked.

"There has never been any trouble. My mum lived here for two years and in this area for six years and something like that has never happened," she told the Telegraph. "I will be staying, but my mum is thinking about moving away."

Naomi Long, a member of Parliament and of the Alliance Party, said the attacks "are perpetrated by a minority with little or no public support." She said seven homes in the district have been damaged in 10 days.

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