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Wednesday, 24 October, 2001, 17:28 GMT 18:28 UK
Girl 'lucky to be alive'
Explosion caused damage to front of house
A Catholic woman whose house was targeted in a pipe bomb attack said her four-year-old daughter was lucky to be alive.

The device exploded at the front door of the house on the Deerpark Road in Belfast shortly after 2100 BST on Tuesday.

The girl was sleeping on the sofa below the living room window when the device shattered the glass above her head.


There is the potential within these attacks to destroy lives or seriously main and injure

Nigel Dodds

She was not injured.

A man, his wife and four children, all under 14 years old, suffered shock in the blast.

The woman said her family was targeted because of their religion.

Police believe the attack was carried out by loyalist paramilitaries.

Windows in the house and a nearby car were damaged in the attack.

North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds, of the Democratic Unionist Party, condemned the attack as "deplorable" and "utterly wrong".

"There is the potential within these attacks to destroy lives or seriously main and injure," he said.

"They must stop, and I am calling on those responsible to call a halt to this before something even more dreadful happens."

Shrapnel

There have been frequent sectarian incidents in the north of the city for the past few months.

On Sunday, an eight-year-old girl suffered shrapnel injuries to her back after a device thrown by loyalists exploded where she and a friend were playing.

The bomb was thrown over the rooftops of a row of terraced houses during continuing sectarian clashes on Limestone Road.

The Northern Ireland Secretary, John Reid, described those responsible as "scum".

See also:

29 Jun 01 | Northern Ireland
Nail bomb attack was 'sectarian'
22 Oct 01 | Northern Ireland
Girls' attackers branded 'scum'
16 Jul 01 | Northern Ireland
Houses damaged in petrol bombing
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