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Children are terrorised by house raiders

TWO children were terrorised and held hostage in their home during a brutal aggravated burglary.

Gardai are investigating the raid on a home in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, over the weekend.

The children were reportedly threatened by three masked and unarmed raiders and "roughed up" as they desperately searched the house for cash.

The 12-year-old boy and his 10-year-old sister were recovering last night from their ordeal on Sunday night and are said to be traumatised.

Their mother, Chinese-born businesswoman Minzhen Cai, and her husband, Jian Xue, own two restaurants in the town.

Gardai believe the house at Blaeberry Walk was targeted by burglars who thought cash was being stored there.

A garda spokesman said that the house was ransacked, although it is unclear what may have been taken.

Investigating gardai have appealed for information concerning the movements of a silver BMW with a 01-D registration which was seen in the area on Friday and Sunday.

FATHER

The children were being looked after by their father in the house while their mother was working in one of the restaurants.

He left at around 9pm on Sunday to collect food from the restaurant and minutes later the gang forced their way into the house and began shouting at the children.

The thugs threatened both of them and struck the young boy several times as they frantically searched for cash.

One member of the gang then stood guard over them while the others scoured the home.

The gang then attempted to wipe down areas they had touched to remove fingerprints and then locked the children in an upstairs bathroom.

Gardai have described the incident as "particularly disturbing".

Gardai have appealed to anyone who spotted a group of men acting suspiciously in the area between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on Sunday to contact them at Castleblayney station, tel 042 9747900, or on the confidential line, 1800 666111.

Gardai said one of the men picked up an object in the house to threaten the children.

hnews@herald.ie


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