Police in Northern Ireland are investigating a series of attacks carried out by rival drug gangs associated with loyalist paramilitaries.

Eight homes have been targeted in north Down in recent days.

In some cases petrol bombs and a pipe bomb were used.

In one attack a 62-year-old man required treatment by paramedics.

Incidents have been reported in Newtownards and Bangor.

There have also been two attempted hijackings and graffiti has been daubed on property.

The PSNI's North Down and Ards District Commander Johnston McDowell said the rival gangs were both claiming association with the Ulster Defence Association.

"All of these attacks are unacceptable, but petrol and pipe bomb attacks are particularly reckless given their potential to cause serious damage to properties, injuries and death to anyone in the vicinity," Mr McDowell said.

"The people behind these attacks have shown a total disregard for the safety of the community."

He said the eight attacks had taken place since last Wednesday and he urged people to be vigilant.