Bus hijacked and set on fire near loyalist estate

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bus has been hijacked and set on fire near a loyalist estate on the outskirts of Belfast

Police said four men boarded the double decker in Church Road near Rathcoole in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, at about 7.45pm and ordered passengers off.

The bus was then set alight across the road.

Stormont infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon was among those to post footage online of the means on fire.

Last Monday a bus was hijacked and burned in a loyalist area of Newtownards, Co Down, in an apparent protest against the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Disorder also broke out at a community interface in west Belfast twice last week.

The violence involving youths from the nationalist Springfield Road and loyalist Shankill Road saw police being attacked with missiles and fireworks on Wednesday and Friday night.

Wednesday’s disorder followed a protest against the protocol.

What does this madness unprotected to

Commenting on the latest incident, Ms Mallon tweeted: “Our bus drivers are working class people who deserve to be safe in their jobs. What does this madness unprotected to?!”

A PSNI spokesman said: “Police received a report of a hijacking incident in the Church Road area of Newtownabbey at around 7.45pm on Sunday evening.

“It was reported that four men got onto the bus and ordered passengers off before the bus was then set alight.

“Church Road is currently closed and diversions are in place and police would ask members of the public to avoid the area.”

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