Page last updated at 06:46 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 07:46 UK

Romanian family's window broken

broken window
Another Romanian family in Belfast has been attacked

Another Romanian family in Belfast, this time in Ballyhackamore in the east of the city, has been attacked.

The bathroom window of their home, on the Upper Newtownards Road, was smashed at about 2300 BST on Wednesday.

Police said that no-one was injured and that the attack was being treated as a "hate crime".

The Romanian Consul General is to meet Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie over racist attacks in south Belfast which saw 20 families flee.

More than 100 Romanians have been moved to temporary accommodation.

Twenty families stayed in a church hall on Tuesday night after leaving their homes.

On Wednesday they were moved to temporary accommodation, also in south Belfast.

Local people react to news of the attacks on Romanian families

There was also a police presence overnight at this site.

Ms Ritchie said the families could stay in the temporary accommodation for at least a week.

Police do not believe paramilitaries were involved in the attacks.

There has been condemnation from all the political parties.

Many of those attacked have now said they want to leave Northern Ireland.

Maria Fechete said she and the other people caught up in the violence had "had enough".

"I haven't slept in a week - we've just had enough," she said.

Another Romanian woman, who did not want to be named, said she feared the attackers had come to kill her and her family, and she now wanted to go back to Romania.

Margaret Ritchie said the Housing Executive would talk to those people who had been rehoused about "their choices and their options over the next week".

Man carrying black bag
A Romanian man helps to move belongings

Most of the Romanian families, who are members of the Roma ethnic group, spent Wednesday at the Ozone Leisure Centre in south Belfast, after being taken there from the church hall.

They said they did not want to return to their Belfast homes.

Police responded to claims that they should have acted more quickly.

Superintendent Chris Noble said everyone could have done more.

"There are people out there who know who was involved in the initial attacks," he said.

The prime minister said he hoped the authorities would take all action necessary to protect the families.

On Tuesday night, the group of 115 Romanian people had tried to take refuge in a single house, but was eventually taken to the church by police minibus.



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