A child has been left "traumatised" after he was present while his father was shot in both ankles at a house in west Belfast.

Three masked men carried out the paramilitary-style attack in the Brooke Drive area on Saturday evening.

Police said the boy ran to a neighbour’s house to raise the alarm and emergency crews were called to the scene.

The victim, aged in his 40s, was taken to hospital where he remains on Sunday morning and will undergo surgery.

Detectives condemned the attack as “brutal” and “horrific” said they are working to establish a motive.

They said it was “nothing short of emotional and psychological abuse of a child”.

"This young boy was placed in a reprehensible situation and has been left traumatised by the vicious and merciless actions of these thugs who hide behind masks,” police said.

"Nothing gives these people the right to violate the human rights of people and their actions should be condemned by all.

"Those who are involved in these attacks do not represent the interests of this community, nor do they contribute anything to it.

“They do it to try and exert influence, or gain control of those they claim to represent.No one has the right to violate the rights of others.”

Anyone with information has been asked to come forward.