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Last Updated: Monday, 23 May, 2005, 20:53 GMT 21:53 UK
Minister, union discuss attacks
Fire engine with backdrop of broken window
Recent attacks on firefighters have been highlighted during a meeting between the Fire Brigades Union and Public Safety Minister Shaun Woodward.

In the most recent incident, which happened in west Belfast last week, youths filmed attacks on firefighters with their mobile phones.

One firefighter was hit on the head with a large stone during the attack.

Mr Woodward said such attacks were "vicious, cowardly and criminal and have no place in a civilised society".

"I have already made plain how appalled I am, that young people should deliberately set about luring fire and ambulance crews, into situations, to attack them," he said.

"The perpetrators need to be caught and they need to be punished."

He said in coming weeks he wanted to meet with organisations and community leaders, to develop a new strategy to deal with "these vicious attacks".

Mr Woodward recently visited Belfast Central Fire Station, where he met firefighters and heard their concerns at first hand.

Fire crew attack 'copycat ambush'
17 May 05 |  Northern Ireland
Firefighters stoned at house fire
11 May 05 |  Northern Ireland
Fire attack 'claim' is rejected
23 Mar 05 |  Northern Ireland

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