'She's a hero' - girl (13) is slashed in machete attack protecting baby nephew
A cross-border dispute between two families is being looked at as a possible motive for a machete attack on a 13-year-old girl at the weekend.
The horrific incident, which is being treated as an attempted murder, took place in a house at Trasna Way, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh.
A group of men forced their way into the property at around 9pm on Saturday and sources said the attackers also filmed the horrific incident.
The girl suffered a serious slash wound to her back, while a 41-year-old woman was stabbed in the leg. A baby was also inside the house at the time of the attack but was unharmed.
Local sources said a dispute between families in Fermanagh and Longford may be the motive behind the attack.
A video, believed to have been filmed by a family member, has since appeared online showing the teenager's graphic injuries, including a deep wound running down her back.
The teenager has been praised as a hero for protecting her baby nephew during the attack.
Her relative Elizabeth Joyce, who was stabbed in the attack, said the teenager was last night "fighting for her life in hospital".
The 13-year-old is now in a stable condition although she remains critical following the incident.
"It is something that we will never get over," said Ms Joyce.
"The baby was unharmed because his auntie is a hero. She's 13-years-old and she threw her whole self over that baby, and she saved his life. She is a hero."
The woman was treated in hospital for her injuries and has since been discharged.
Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers are pursuing a number of lines of enquiry as part of the investigation.
It is understood the family belongs to the Travelling community and the attack may be connected to a dispute.
SDLP councillor Garbhan McPhillips said the local community was in shock that someone so young had been subjected to such a violent attack.
"Everybody's shocked and disgusted. There's no call for any sort of attack like this in today's society," he said.
"What is going through their minds that they were target a young girl?"
He wished the girl a full recovery.
"Lisnaskea is a great community, a tight-knit community. There's no call for something like this to take place," he added.
"There is a feeling of anger that something like this has happened here."
UUP councillor Trevor Warrington said that attacks involving machetes were rare in the area.
"Locals are shocked. It is certainly not the type of incident people are accustomed to in Lisnaskea," he said.