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Mutant rats menace Belfast

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Residents in east Belfast have been "living in a horror movie" for more than a month after an invasion of fearless giant rats. Kids have been dragged off the streets by fearful parents and a dog attacked by the invading rodents - believed to have been displaced from their former abode when transport outfit Translink did work on a nearby railway line.

June Brown, a worker at the local community centre in which she was presumably barricaded in a Dawn of the Dead stylee, told the BBC: "We see rats daily. One of the mothers was coming to the mother-and-toddlers and a rat came out and walked alongside her pram. The baby was actually delighted to see this furry friend. She did not want to react in case she frightened the child."

Her shaken colleagues Gail Leemer and Jane Ormer added: "They are like cats. They are stone deaf, they fly up and down the road and play tig with the buses. They come out in daylight. Nothing seems to scare them. If a bus was coming, the rat would just dilly dally along the road. Nothing seems to deter them. They don't seem to be frightened of human people."

The council has reportedly put down poison in an attempt to purge the streets of mutant rats, but in the circumstances and given the traumatised locals' description of the hell rodents, nuke-bearing stealth aircraft might be a better bet. ®

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