Fountain residents ‘besieged’ - Foster

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DUP Leader Arlene Foster has said that residents of The Fountain are being “besieged in their own homes” following a spate of attacks over recent days.

The former First Minister added her voice to the condemnation expressed by local nationalist and unionist politicians in the wake of the series of attacks on the estate at the weekend.

DUP Foyle MLA Gary Middleton said that over 48 hours from Thursday, five petrol bombs were lobbed over the interface, one of which landed very close to a pensioner’s oil tank.

“We could have been dealing with a fatality here,” he said.

On Friday, meanwhile, paint bombs were thrown from the City Walls onto the Multi-Use Games Area in the estate. “This is obviously very concerning,” he said.

“We have been speaking to police about upping their patrols and ensuring there is a presence in the area,” he said.

The attacks have come as Derry city prepares to host one of the Twelfth events this year.

Mrs Foster said: “I’ve been in the Fountain area many times and met the good people of that community. This is not the first time they have been targeted in this sectarian manner. It is to be condemned but I also want to see the police providing more assistance to the community who are effectively being besieged in their own homes. This campaign of hate must be halted.”

Mr Middleton said that residents on both sides of the interface wanted to live in peace with their neighbours, but said efforts were being hampered by “a very small but disruptive minority.”

“Sadly, many of those directly involved are young children,” he said, adding: “It is clear that even more sinister individuals are encouraging this activity within republican communities. I call for leadership in those communities.

“These attacks must be condemned. Everyone should do all they can to help build on the positive work being carried out within communities.”