Communities urged to break the silence over paramilitary attacks

Communities are being urged to "break the silence" over paramilitary attacks and help end the violence.

The call follows two "terrifying" paramilitary-style shootings in Belfast on Sunday night.

A 41-year-old man was shot five times in his arms and legs when a gang entered his home at Ballymurphy in the west of the city.

In north Belfast, a 26-year-old man was shot three times in his legs at his home in Upper Meadow Street, New Lodge.

Police said both victims have sustained "potentially life-changing injuries" and were taken to hospital.

A PSNI spokesman described both incidents as "terrifying" paramilitary-style attacks in the victims' own homes.

"It is another example of a criminal group trying to control a community by the use of weapons, fear and violence," the spokesman added.

SDLP deputy leader Nichola Mallon MLA said to help stop the savage attacks people with information must share it with police.

"These savage attacks are carried out by cowardly gangs seeking to coerce and control our communities through fear and violence.

"To stand up to it we must all break the silence that allows these people to get away with it.

"These brutal attacks were unjustifiable in the past. They are unjustified now. To help stop these attacks people must come forward with information to the police," Mrs Mallon said.

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