An Astley Bridge Starbucks has been targeted for a second time with windows smashed and messages including "Free Gaza" and "Killers" graffitied on to the building.

It is understood vandals smashed windows and graffitied the store all while it was still open on Thursday at around 6.45pm.

The incident comes just months after the Blackburn Road store’s windows were smashed in November last year.

Despite having stores in multiple Middle Eastern countries, the international coffee chain has had no stores in Israel since 2003, after a two-year stint in the country – with the chain releasing a statement last year saying it does not provide any financial support to the country or its military.

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Helping the cleanup operation is Shaun Hill.

The Astley Bridge native sometimes comes to the shop twice a day to get a latte.

Shaun said: “I turned up this morning (Friday) and as I got here it was complete chaos. All the shutters were down, windows were smashed, graffiti all over saying ‘Free Gaza’, ‘killers’.”

Coincidentally, Shaun is the owner of a powerwashing company – SJH Power Washing Services – and is now helping to clean up the shop.

He added: “There’s people’s jobs at stake here. Luckily, they’ve kept it open and you can only use the drive-thru.

“They just smashed the windows last year. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s an absolute disgrace.”

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On Facebook, Cllr Hilary Fairclough said: “Last night at around 6.45pm (Thursday) our Local Starbucks had the windows smashed and red paint thrown at the front of the premises.

“Police attended very quickly and are working hard to identify the offenders.

“There will be a higher than normal visible presence in the area to reassure residents

“If anyone has any information please contact the police.”

A GMP spokesperson said: “In the early hours of today (Friday) officers were called to reports of criminal damage at a business on Blackburn Road in Bolton.

“We are continuing to investigate this incident.”

A Starbucks spokesperson said: “We are aware of the incident at our Blackburn Road store, which has since reopened.

"The safety of our partners (employees) and customers is our highest priority and we will continue to work closely with local police as investigations continue.”

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