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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Evening bus services in Belfast cancelled following hijackings

Following the recent hijacking of two buses in the Belfast area, a number of evening bus services will be cancelled or diverted.

In the space of one week, a total of two buses were subject to hijackings in Loyalist areas of Belfast as tensions rise over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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The buses were then lit on fire after petrol was poured inside them by the hijackers.

The routes serve some of the busiest roads in Belfast which include the Antrim and Shore Roads, the Newtownards Road and the Crumlin Road.

The CEO of Translink Chris Conway said that the situation will be reviewed this afternoon while adding that yesterday evening had been a “relatively peaceful night”.

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He added that they were working very closely with the PSNI and local community groups to manage the situation dynamically; “What we really want to do is to reinstate these services, that’s our role, it’s a huge regret we have to withdraw services.”

The latest incident occurred last night in the Rathcoole estate in Newtonabbey where four masked armed men hijacked a bus and ordered the driver and passengers off the vehicle before setting it alight.

The first incident occurred on Monday in a similar incident where a bus was hijacked and burned in Newtownards. The attacks have received condemnation from both loyalist and nationalist leaders.

IMAGE – Nichola Mahon/”File:Flag of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.png” by Cyberbeagle is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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