A man has sustained serious injuries, including a suspected broken arm, after he was abducted and assaulted in a 'brutal' attack in Strabane.
The 22-year-old was walking in the Carlton Drive area of the town at around 11pm on Thursday.
The victim was pulled into a grey van, had a hood placed over his head and his hands and feet also bound.
The van was driven some distance out of the town before stopping and a ‘vicious assault’ was carried out by a number of men. The victim was then driven back to the town and left in Bradley Way just before midnight.
It’s believed paramilitary involvement is one line of enquiry.
Detective Sergeant Brian Reid is leading the investigation: “The victim sustained some serious injuries during this ordeal including a large gash to the head and a suspected broken arm.
“I am appealing for community help in identifying the perpetrators of this crime. There can be no justification for criminal groups carrying out such brutal attacks, attempting to control communities through fear and violence.”
Daniel McCrossan SDLP MLA for West Tyrone said a woman has been left traumatised after she witnessed the young man being dumped out of the van.
“A young woman who was travelling home was behind the van coming through Strabane and just before the Strabane Bridge, the van doors opened in front of the taxi and the young man was fired to the street, arms bound, legs bound, a bag over his head and he had sustained a brutal beating,” he explained.
“This woman has been left today very shaken and traumatised, she’s afraid to come forward with information to the PSNI, it’s understandable because there are many out there that are terrified of these organisations or these people that are carrying out these attacks.”
It is the second dissident attack in Strabane in recent days. A pipe bomb which had been thrown onto a pensioner’s bed was made safe in the Co Tyrone town on Monday. Dissidents were blamed for a shooting in Londonderry this week also.
Mr McCrossan continued: “We need to send out a very strong message that we will not tolerate or accept any form of intimidation against our community, the two attacks this week have been shocking, both details have been horrific, and have shocked the community from one end to the other.
“Both had the potential to end life, that is shocking and that should not be happening and we must condemn these attacks but we must also ask people to come forward.
“To help us take this scourge off our streets, we need to ensure that we get that information so I’d appeal to everybody to come forward and share the information with the PSNI and help prevent this happening again.”
Detectives investigating this incident can be contacted on 101 quoting reference number 1532 10/08/17. Or if someone would prefer to provide information without leaving their name, they can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.