Northern Irish bus hijacked and torched

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Belfast (Reuters) -Four men hijacked and set fire to a bus in a pro-British unionist community in Northern Ireland on Sunday evening, authorities said.

Police said they received a report of a hijacking incident in the Church Road area of Newtownabbey, a Belfast suburb, around 7:45 p.m.

"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," the Police Service of Northern Ireland said in a statement.

Bus operator Translink said the driver and a small number of passengers safely disembarked.

"Our driver is badly shaken and is currently being supported by colleagues," the company said in a statement.

"We are very disappointed by this intimidating attack on our member of staff and public transport services in the area. We utterly condemn this behaviour and will be working closely with the PSNI to investigate this incident," the statement said.

Last week, two masked and armed men hijacked and set fire to another bus in an attack that local media said was linked to tensions over post-Brexit trade barriers.

(Reporting by Amanda Ferguson and Graham Fahy; Editing by Peter Cooney and Daniel Wallis)

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