Bombers injure 11 in attack on homes: Loyalist terrorists target 'wrong' houses

ELEVEN PEOPLE, including seven children, were treated in hospital yesterday after bomb attacks on two houses in Catholic areas of West Belfast.

Both attacks were botched. The bombs were intended for the homes of members of Sinn Fein, the IRA's political wing, but were thrown at the wrong houses. The outlawed Ulster Freedom Fighters claimed responsibility for one attack, and were also believed to be behind the second.

One device was thrown through the window of the living room at a house in Hugo Street, off the Falls Road. The UFF said it targeted the house because it was used by Joe Austin, a Sinn Fein councillor. Although the name of the family living there is Austin, they are not related.

Two of six children in the family rushed into a back room when the bomb crashed through the window, exploding moments later.

The attack came shortly after another bomb was thrown through the window of a house at Merrion Park, Poleglass. The terrorists were believed to have been targeting another Sinn Fein councillor.

The device exploded in the lounge where a man was watching television with his girlfriend and their baby.

'There was a flash. I ran over and covered my girlfriend and baby,' said the man, who declined to be named.

There was 'absolutely no justification' for the attack, he said. It was too easy to use the lame excuse of ' 'Oh, sorry, wrong house' but you are talking about people's lives. That bomb was meant to kill'.

Sinn Fein described the bombings as 'indiscriminate sectarian attacks against defenceless families'.