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Catholic World News News Feature

Wave of attacks on Catholics in Northern Ireland July 27, 2005

Police on Tuesday called a recent spate of attacks on Catholics in and around Ballymena, a mostly Protestant town northwest of Belfast a wave of intimidation attacks.

The Associated Press reported that loyalist extremists planted a homemade grenade outside a Catholic family's home in Ballymena. The bomb detonated, causing minor damage. Arsonists badly damaged one Catholic-run pub in the village of Martinstown, and caused minor fire damage to the outside of another pub in nearby Rasharkin with two gasoline-filled bottles. In addition, two Catholic churches in Ballymena were vandalized with paint-filled balloons and painted-on anti-Catholic slogans. No injuries were reported.

Catholic leaders reportedly appealed to the area's Protestant politicians to do more to stop the extremists.

Over the past 35 years of conflict in Northern Ireland, outlawed paramilitary groups have threatened adherents of the different Christian beliefs, whether Catholic or Protestant, despite a 1994 cease fire and Northern Ireland's 1998 peace accord.

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