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Police looking for one suspect after three women are stabbed and two others assaulted in Belfast

The women, aged between 19 and 22, were out walking when attacked in separate incidents last night.

LAST UPDATE | Oct 13th 2020, 2:39 PM

POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland have appealed for information about assaults on five women in Belfast within a two-hour period last night.

The PSNI believes one male suspect, who was seen riding a bicycle in the area, is responsible for the incidents.

Three women were stabbed in separate incidents and two other women were punched while walking in Belfast last night.

Police are appealing for information about the incidents, which occurred within two hours.

All five women are aged between 19 and 22.

The first incident occurred at approximately 8.10pm on Ormeau Avenue. The second occurred at approximately 9pm on Donegall Square West. The third occurred at approximately 10pm on University Road.

All three women were taken to hospital for treatment for their injuries, which are not believed to be life-threatening.

A fourth incident was reported to police where a female was punched in the neck on the Upper Lisburn Road near Dunluce Avenue at around 9pm, and police believe this to have been carried out by the same man.

A fifth incident was reported this morning whereby a female was punched to the head on the Dublin Road at around 8.55pm yesterday evening by a male on a bicycle, and police believe this report may be linked to the other four incidents.

The male suspect is described as wearing dark clothing, possibly a hooded top, cycling a mountain bike which may have a light-coloured frame and reflectors on the spokes. Police believe the man may have been wearing a black mask.

At a press conference earlier today at Musgrave Police Station, Belfast area co-ordinator Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said: “The injuries sustained were minor and not life-threatening, however this does not take away from the seriousness of these incidents.

“These were frightening random attacks for these young women but thankfully incidents like this are extremely rare.”

Walls said he wanted to “reassure the community that officers will be carrying out additional patrols across the city centre and doing everything we can to arrest this man”.

Detectives are currently conducting extensive CCTV enquiries throughout the relevant areas across the city and are appealing to any drivers who were in these areas at the times in question to review dashcam footage, and for any business owners in the relevant areas to review their CCTV.

Police have appealed to anyone who witnessed any of these incidents or anyone who has dashcam footage to contact police at Lisburn Road on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference numbers 1886; 1943 and 2122 12/10/20, or submit a report online.

People can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online.

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