Police are investigating after a trans woman’s home was bombed in Northern Ireland.
27-year-old Rachael Keys of Derry/Londonderry was forced out of her home after the incident on Saturday.
A pipe bomb that had been left on her windowsill exploded, shattering the window and showering her with glass.
Ms Keys, who luckily escaped without serious injury, told Belfast Live that police believe she was targeted for being trans.
She said: “I am a member of the LGBT community. The police feel that I may have been attacked because of that reason.”
Five homes were evacuated after the bombing, with families forced to seek shelter in a local community centre.
Ms Keys added: “I was just watching TV in my living room. Suddenly the window came through, there was glass everywhere and there was a big bang and a flash. I was covered in glass.
“To be honest I was completely dazed, I didn’t know what was happening. It scared the life out of me. I just ran out of the house screaming to my neighbours.
“I didn’t even have time to lift my poor cat, Jessie, who was sleeping in the bedroom. I was terrified, shaking, upset.
She continued: “The police came and cordoned the place off and evacuated us all to the community centre. I was totally dazed.
“One of my neighbours is epileptic and I was really worried about her not being able to get her medication. Another neighbour has a child who is autistic, another is a pensioner. It was awful for them. Just awful.
“We all had to sleep in the community centre overnight. I was distraught. Someone gave me a tablet to help calm me down and help me sleep. I didn’t sleep though.”
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer told the newspaper: “We are lucky that no one was injured by this device, or by the window smashing.
“This is being treated as a sectarian hate crime and I would appeal to anyone with any information about this incident to contact detectives at Strand Road police station on the non-emergency number 101.”