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Friday, 25 August, 2000, 17:21 GMT 18:21 UK
Funeral of murdered loyalist
Paramilitary wreaths accompany Jackie Coulter's cortege
The funeral has taken place of another of the victims of the violent feud between loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland.

Jackie Coulter, one of two men shot dead on Belfast's Crumlin Road on Monday was buried on Friday.

Mr Coulter died when gunmen opened fire on him and another man, Bobby Mahood, as they sat in a Land Rover outside a bookmaker's shop.

The killings were blamed on the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) which is involved in a feud with the Ulster Defence Association/Ulster Freedom Fighters (UDA/UFF).

Jackie Coulter
Murder victim: UDA man Jackie Coulter
Senior members of the Ulster Democratic Party, which is linked to the UDA/UFF, including UDP chairman John White and Belfast deputy mayor Frank McCoubrey, attended the funeral.

The cortege stopped briefly outside the Crumlin Road bookmakers where Jackie Coulter was shot.

UDA and UFF wreaths, a UDA flag and a wreath from the loyalist splinter group the Loyalist Volunteer Force accompanied the coffin.

Mr Coulter was a close associate of convicted UFF leader Johnny Adair.

Free since September last year under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, Adair's licence was revoked by NI Secretary Peter Mandelson who said he had evidence of the leading loyalist's involvement in commissioning acts of terrorism.

Mr Coulter was buried at Roselawn Cemetery outside east Belfast following a private service in his home at St Mary's Court in the Shankill.

Meanwhile, the shooting dead of a 22-year-old man in north Belfast on Wednesday night has been blamed on the UFF, in reprisal for Monday's double murder.

Tension still high

On Thursday, several hundred people gathered for Bobby Mahood's funeral as it left his home at Snugville Street, off Belfast's Shankill Road.

Mr Mahood's coffin was taken to Carnmoney Cemetery in the north of the city for burial.

UDP chairman John White was among mourners.

The latest victim of the feud was 22-year-old Sam Rocket. It is understood the dead man had links to the UVF.

The incident happened at a house in Summer Street in the loyalist Oldpark area of the city on Wednesday night.

Mr Mandelson, condemned the attack as "senseless".

A weekend of tension between the rival groups and the three murders has seen an increase in security force activity in the Protestant Shankill Road area of the city.

Meanwhile, an increased number of soldiers are on patrol on the Shankill Road in an effort to control the feud between the rival paramilitary groups.

Mobile army patrols are augmenting checkpoints being manned by soldiers and the police in the area.

The escalating tension has led to 36 families leaving their homes on the Shankill Road and applying to be rehoused since the weekend.

The BBC's David Eades in Belfast
"Latest rivalry is likely to spark a new recruitment drive on both sides"
The BBC's Joe Paley
"Hundreds of mourners lined the streets"
See also:

25 Aug 00 | Northern Ireland
Loyalist 'still committed' to agreement
24 Aug 00 | Northern Ireland
Loyalist feud victim buried
22 Aug 00 | Northern Ireland
Security review after loyalist deaths
22 Aug 00 | Northern Ireland
Shots fired at houses
24 Aug 00 | Northern Ireland
Funeral for murdered loyalist
23 Aug 00 | Northern Ireland
History of the loyalist feud
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