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'There is one police service in west Belfast - the PSNI': Teenage boy shot in the legs

There is an active line of inquiry around the involvement of violent dissident republicans.

File photo of a shooting in the west Belfast area.
File photo of a shooting in the west Belfast area.
Image: Lesley Anne McKeown/AP

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy has been shot in the legs in west Belfast, drawing a scathing response from the PSNI.

The boy was shot on Forest Street off the Springfield Road last night. He is in a stable condition in hospital.

The shooting, the second of its kind in 24 hours, drew a strong rebuke from the PSNI.

Belfast Policing Commander Chief Superintendent Chris Noble said:

“I want to condemn what has happened in the strongest terms. It is very early to speculate in terms of the people involved, but at the very least they are predatory criminals. It is also too early to say if the number of recent shootings in west Belfast are linked but clearly there is an active line of inquiry around the involvement of violent dissident republicans. I would not want to speculate on exactly why individuals were targeted but there is never any justification for this violent, abusive behaviour.

“Last night saw an attack on a 16-year-old boy. Any civilised society would see that for what it is – child abuse. It is most definitely not policing or community safety activity.

“There is only one police service in west Belfast and that is the PSNI.”

Noble said that the community needed to be freed of those who “revert to child abuse and shooting people to further their cause”.

On Wednesday, a man was shot in the legs near the Falls Road. He is also in a stable condition in hospital.

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