The father of a nine-year-old Derry boy injured after a glass jar packed with nails was hurled into the Fountain area has hit out at those responsible, claiming that it could have been attempted murder.

The incident occurred around 8pm on Friday evening when the glass jar filled with nails was thrown from the direction of Bishop Street.

Residents claim they heard a loud bang, and the injured boy says he saw a flash as the jar smashed and lacerated his leg.

The child was treated in hospital but has since been released.

The boy’s father, who wishes to remain anonymous, is furious.

“Do these people have no brains at all? What if there had been more kids around? There are usually 10 or 15 kids playing football out there, so thank God this wasn’t more serious. If that glass jar had hit my son on the head and the nails went into him, this could have been attempted murder. It could have killed him or he could be lying in intensive care today.

“My son is still very shaken up at the minute. He has a cut on his leg and we were over in casualty until 2am that night. Thankfully it’s not too bad but he’s still very badly shaken and won’t get dressed or go out at all today, he’s still in his pyjamas,” he added.

The family say CID are carrying out forensic tests and examining CCTV from Bishop Street in an attempt to identify the culprits.

However, the question of what caused the loud bang remains unanswered.

“The resident who went out to help my son said that she found him badly shaken up and he told her that he saw a flash and heard a big bang.

“We explained this to the police but there doesn’t seem to be any explosives involved, so I think they are a bit puzzled themselves,” the father added.

“Other residents say they heard the bang too, so I don’t know what to think. The community are up in arms about this as it has been so peaceful recently.”

The man called upon those responsible for Friday’s callous attack to “catch themselves on.”

“Whoever did this has no regard or thought for anyone,” he said.

“How would they like sitting in Altnagelvin with their wee son for five or six hours? Why can’t they just let people live in peace?”

Detectives in Derry confirmed they are investigating the incident and are appealing to the public for information.

“At this stage of the investigation we do not believe the object to be an explosive device, rather a glass jar with nails in it,” a PSNI spokesperson added.

SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey said: “This is a disgraceful attack and one that every right thinking person condemns.”