Woman from territory hurt in Belfast shooting
A HONG KONG woman was yesterday shot and seriously injured in Belfast - the first ethnic Chinese to be attacked in three decades of violence in Northern Ireland.
Selina Lee, 40, a popular and active member of the 7,000-strong Hong Kong-Chinese community in the province was last night described as ''serious but stable'' in Belfast's Matha Hospital.
She was attacked by a masked gunman soon after midnight British time on Thursday (yesterday morning Hong Kong time) as, with her 10-year-old daughter beside her, she tried to deliver a takeaway Chinese meal to an address in Downview Avenue, North Belfast - a prosperous mixed community area.
As Mrs Lee, who runs the Five Star takeaway on Belfast's mainly protestant Antrim Road, drove into the avenue the masked man jumped out in front of her car and fired two shots.
One penetrated the window and hit Mrs Lee in the chest. Her daughter sitting beside her was seriously shocked but uninjured.
With blood pouring from her wounds Mrs Lee then drove 11/2 kilometres to the Antrim Road police station where officers called an ambulance.
Last night no terrorist group had claimed responsibility.
The shooting has shocked both the Chinese and the larger community in the province. Although the Hong Kong-Chinese community has lived there since the early 1960s its has never been involved in the troubles which have claimed more than 3,000 lives.
Police immediately established that the order for the meal was a hoax and it appeared that Mrs Lee had been deliberately lured to the quiet avenue.
One theory, according to reporter Marie Foy of the Belfast Telegraph newspaper, who has covered the troubles for some years, is that the gunman may have been expecting a local Northern Irish man to make the delivery.
Drivers working for takeaways have been attacked in the past - on the basis that if a gunman orders a meal from a known Protestant or Catholic area the driver who delivers it is likely to be of that denomination. ''They can be a very easy target,'' she said.
Mrs Lee moved to Belfast about 15 years ago to set up a business in the catering trade. They live in a house some distance from the takeaway shop.
Mrs Lee's husband and daughter, who have not been named for security reasons, were later visited by Patrick Yu of the Northern Ireland Chinese Welfare Association.
''We wanted to see how we can help, the poor girl is very shocked and horrified by what has happened,'' he said.
Mrs Lee was the head teacher at a special English language school run by the Welfare Association at the city's Queen's University every Sunday.
''She is a very dedicated woman, very popular,'' Mr Yu said.