Blast bomb victim 'lucky to be alive'

Published Monday, 25 February 2013
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A woman who was injured when a blast bomb was thrown at her north Belfast home said she feels lucky to be alive.

Blast bomb victim 'lucky to be alive'
Roberta Toan's legs were cut and bruised during the blast bomb attack. (© Pacemaker)

Roberta Toan was on her way to bed when she heard a knock at the door of her house in the Thorburn Road area of Greencastle shortly after 9.45pm on Sunday.

Her legs were left cut and bruised by shrapnel from the blast, which she said terrified her daughter who was upstairs at the time.

"The bang. Lights blew. The smoke started the dog started crying, yelping. Rachel started squealing from up the stairs," she said.

Mrs Toan said she does not know why she was targeted, but fears those who planted the bomb at her front door were trying to kill her. Police have confirmed they are treating the attack as attempted murder.

Although her daughter and husband escaped unhurt, the family's pet dogs were injured in the attack. Her Japanese Akita had part of its leg amputated while their poodle has cuts and staples and remains "very, very weak".

"I'm lucky to be alive," Mrs Toan explained.

If I had opened the front door then I would have been killed. Or if my 12-year-old daughter had answered the door she would have been killed too.

Roberta Toan

"I'm just so disgusted that someone would do this try to kill somebody, come to a family home..."

Police are looking for a dark coloured car, thought to have been a Ford Focus, which was seen being driven away from the home towards the Serpentine Road.

Nigel Dodds, North Belfast DUP MP, said it was a reckless attack.

"There has been an increase in the use of explosive devices in North Belfast over recent months," he said.

"This must be brought to an end and I call for full co-operation from all sections of the community to make that happen."

Gerry Kelly, Sinn Féin MLA for the area, condemned the attack on a family home.

"Those who left the device and knocked on the door to lure someone out could never have been sure who would have answered. It could have even been a child.

"The attack is wholly reckless. Essentially it amounted to attempted murder," he added.

A group calling itself the Real UFF has claimed it carried out the attack. Police say they are still trying to establish a motive.

The Japanese Akita lost a paw in the bomb blast in north Belfast.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
38 Comments
Friend from Belfast in Belfast wrote (511 days ago):
As a friend of the family in the attack would like to thank u all for your comments r for the ones who r truly concerned the family are still coming to terms with this horrific attack but say they r so lucky no 1 was seriously hurt the dogs r a huge part of this family an r devastated of their injurys they continue in the vets the Akita did loss her left leg an is coming on great but the poodle is still a long way from recovery xx
Lee in Londonderry to Australia wrote (512 days ago):
David in East Belfast - I mean as little disrespect to you personally as I say this - but your christian preaching about God and Satan are also a massive part of what is wrong with our country. Religion has been used to pitch human beings against each other in this country for too long. The sooner the people in Northern Ireland, Ireland (and all around the world) realise that religion is an ABSOLUTE FARCE, the better. It has its uses but it really is time the world wised up to God and Religion...
Eamo in Belfast wrote (512 days ago):
To lorna give the flag thing up. You were born in Ireland or the north of Ireland, well there is no North of ireland flag so. There i a 9 county Ulster flag but the North excludes 3 of these counties so that is not an option. There is also the modified Ulster flag but this excludes the 3 counties also in Ulster so this is out. Scotland and Wales have their own flags and as i have researched the subject 90% of the councils in England fly the St George cros on certain days of the year. The Fauklands has a blue flag with the Union flag in the top left hand corner and their crest on the otherside. The Aussies and Canadians do something similar. This maybe a way forward. What about a red + and red hand of Ulster somewhere on a green flag. I know this may not be right for everyone but it is a start for full inclusitivity of everyone in the 6 counties and not forcing a symbol on to a community that do not see that symbol as including them.
lucylou in belfast wrote (512 days ago):
H.CAMPBELL IN UK.====YES the noise of fiddle music is DEAFNING!! All played by many ostrich whose faces are not always visible because their heads are buried in the sand or alternatively in the past.ALL blinkered by their own skewed agendas.Majority of statesmen left these shores a long time ago and we appear to have been left with the 'fiddle players' who couldnt play a decent tune between them!
Anthony in Belfast wrote (513 days ago):
Lorna what has a protestant woman being attacked by loyalists in her own home, in a loyalist neighbourhood got to do with the british fleg?? you and gazza are made for each other. Anyone that is still going on about this feg is an idiot, the majority of protestant people don't care anymore, its just sad people who spend there days sat at home in their p.j's with nothing to do harping on about it still!!!
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