Five families targeted in Ballymena race attack ‘want normal life’

Five families from ethnic minority backgrounds have been attacked in Ballymena, in what police are treating as a racially-motivated hate crime.

The windows of their homes were smashed by a man with a hammer in the early hours of Monday morning.

It happened on Larne Street in the Harryville estate of the town.

Four families are Bulgarian, another Portuguese.

One Bulgarian mother, Minka Kirilova, told UTV: "My boys was in a room when the guy start to smash the windows and he is so scared.

"We're here just to work. My kids here go to school. We're scared, we just need normal life...we just need normal life."

The suspect is described as being stocky, and wearing dark shorts and an orange top.

Police are asking anyone who may have CCTV or dashcam footage of the attack to contact them.

While their windows are shattered and nerves are shaken, they don't want to leave.

"I stay here. I like here, I like to live, the people. But someone is so racist maybe to us.

We don't do nothing, we just work. I need to progress my kids here, like all Bulgarian or Romanian people."

Police say they are treating the attack "extremely seriously" and will be stepping-up patrols in the area to ensure the families living there feel safe.

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