20 August 2005

Taxi driver injured in gun attack

BBC

A taxi driver has been injured in a gun attack in County Down.

The man was in his vehicle at Stirling Avenue, Newtownards, when he was shot at 0030 BST on Saturday. He is said to be in a stable condition in hospital.

An area close to the town's bus depot and a furniture shop car park have been cordoned off and are being examined.

It is understood police are looking at the possibility the shooting may be linked to the current loyalist feud, but other motives are being examined.

The feud between the Ulster Volunteer Force and Loyalist Volunteer Force has claimed four lives.

'Heinous crime'

Local people said they heard up to five shots, however, it is not known how many times the man was shot, or the extent of his injuries.

He is being treated at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.

The vehicle is still at the scene of the shooting in the Westwinds estate.

Politicians said the town had been tense in recent weeks with a visible police and Army presence on the streets of Newtownards.

Strangford DUP MP Iris Robinson described it as a heinous crime.

She added: "This shooting is deplorable and must be condemned.

"There is no justification for this type of behaviour. Anyone who has information should assist the police."

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