Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Belfast racists force Romanians to hide in church

BELFAST (AFP) — British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Wednesday condemned a wave of racist attacks in Northern Ireland which forced more than 100 Romanians to flee their homes and shelter in a church hall.

The families, including one with a five-day-old baby girl, spent the night in the church hall in Belfast after the situation came to a head on Monday when youths disrupted an anti-racism rally, throwing bottles and making Nazi salutes.

Asked to condemn the attacks during his weekly question and answer session with lawmakers at the House of Commons, Brown said: "Yes indeed, I hope that the authorities are able to take all the action that's necessary".

Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the attackers were "racist criminals" who should be arrested and prosecuted.

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