27 May 2005


UDA is on the rampage following arrests

THE UDA are being blamed for causing major disruption and carrying out a number of sectarian attacks in North Belfast and Glengormley last weekend.
In the attacks cars were destroyed and several homes were damaged.
It is believed that the UDA was flexing its muscles following the imprisonment of Lower Shankill UPRG man Denis Cunningham for UFF membership and the arrest of four loyalists in a PSNI sting as they attempted to extort money from a Nutts Corner businessman.
Homes of leading loyalists were among those searched in a follow-up operation. A number of weapons were found and a quantity of drugs seized.
However the PSNI is reluctant to blame all the reported incidents on sectarianism despite both unionist and nationalist politicians agreeing all that the attacks were indeed of a sectarian nature.
At around 11pm on Friday night a Peugeot 406 car was burnt in Cliftondene Crescent in Oldpark, near to three houses which were attacked with paint bombs just before midnight on Friday.
Paint bombs also damaged two houses at Abbeydale Park just off the Crumlin Road, while a Rover car parked nearby was also damaged with stones at 11.30pm.
Around midnight two houses at Ligoniel Road and a property at Somerdale Park were also attacked with paint bombs.
The campaign moved towards Glengormley at around 12.30 am on Saturday when a BMW car parked at Hazelwood Park near Bellevue was destroyed after it was set on fire.
Police in North Belfast confirmed that these series of incidents were "sectarian and connected" and believe loyalists were responsible.
And in what the police are describing as ‘a separate incident that was not thought by police to be sectarian’ a car was destroyed in a petrol bomb attack in Glengormley.
Shortly before 12.40am a Peugeot 106 car parked in Farmley Gardens was completely destroyed when it was petrol bombed.
Three youths wearing baseball caps were seen in the area at the time of the attacks and police say they may have been involved.
Sinn Féin’s Newtownabbey Councillor Breige Meehan believes the Farmley attack was linked and said,
“I utterly condemn the sectarian attacks which took place at the weekend.
“The cowardly thugs should be ostracised within their community.
“I would call for dialogue between the two communities in order to put a halt to sectarian attacks from whichever quarter they come.”
North Belfast DUP MLA Nelson McCausland condemned the "totally unprovoked" attacks.
"It is clear that since there were so many attacks on one night that this was an orchestrated campaign," he said.
"People should have the right to live in their homes without fear of attack on them or their property.
"Such attacks are totally unprovoked and wrong. And, as well as hurting the families attacked, they damage the wider community," he said.
Earlier on Friday evening, two security alerts on the Cavehill Road were declared hoaxes.
The British army bomb squad had to deal with a suspect device on the gates of the Church of the Resurrection on the Cavehill at around 8.15pm.
A short time later they dealt with a similar device at a bus shelter near Westland fire station.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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