Page last updated at 08:13 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 09:13 UK

Dissidents condemn petrol attack

Mitchel McLaughlin, Martin McGuinness and Raymond McCartney at the rally in the Bogside
Martin McGuinness speaks in support of Mitchel McLaughlin at the rally

A spokesman for a dissident republican group has condemned the petrol bomb attack on the Londonderry home of a Sinn Féin assembly member.

Gary Donnelly from the 32-County Sovereignty Movement said the attack on Mitchel McLaughlin's home was "totally wrong" and "shouldn't have happened".

Several hundred people attended a rally in the Bogside on Monday to show their support for Mr McLaughlin.

Two petrol bombs were thrown at his home on Sunday.

"There is nothing to be gained by attacking a family or Mitchel McLaughlin," said Mr Donnelly.

"You can't get any clearer than that."

He said he did not know who carried out the attack.

The deputy first minister, who spoke at the rally on Monday, said the statement had been "squeezed out" of dissident republicans.

Mr McGuinness said he believed the young people involved in the attacks had been "wound up by others".

"They are effectively surrogates for organisations that have threatened the elected representatives of the people of Ireland over recent weeks," he said.

He called on the Real IRA to apologise to Mr McLaughlin and withdraw threats against Sinn Féin's elected representatives.



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