Tuesday, July 24, 2007

UDA loyalist feuding in the north of Ireland

BBC News:

Five people are now under arrest in connection with violence in a County Antrim town at the weekend.

One man is being questioned about the attempted murder of a policeman on the Castlemara Estate in Carrickfergus.

The officer was shot in the back during disturbances between gangs of rival loyalists on Saturday night.

One man was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon and three others arrested under terrorist legislation.

The officer's injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. A civilian was also stabbed and is in hospital.

Weapons, including CS spray, a crossbow and baseball bats, were found in the Castlemara estate. The trouble is being linked to UDA feuding.

Officers were called after reports that a large crowd had gathered in Castlemara Drive at about 2230 BST.

The three men were arrested after police stopped a car.

Security Minister Paul Goggins said those within loyalism who refused to cease criminal activity had "nothing to offer their own community or anyone else".

Superintendent Mark Gilmore condemned the attack.

"We are very serious about how we are going to respond operationally to this and we will be taking full measures to reassure the community and bring anyone to justice who feels that they want to further break the law," he said.

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