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Tuesday, 17 December, 2002, 19:02 GMT
UDA 'aware' of murder plot
The feud between loyalists has been escalating
The feud between loyalists has been escalating
The leadership of the loyalist Ulster Defence Association has claimed it has become aware of a plan to murder a senior loyalist.

In a statement on Tuesday, the organisation said the attack was being planned by Shankill loyalists linked to former leader of the Ulster Freedom Fighters, Johnny Adair.

Adair was expelled from the UDA leadership in September and since then a split has opened up within the organisation.

In the statement, the loyalist from Belfast's Shankill area and close associate John White were accused of attempting to overthrow the leadership of the UDA.

Johnny Adair: Convicted loyalist leader
Johnny Adair was expelled by the UDA
The statement said this would not be tolerated and the UDA leadership called on other loyalists in west Belfast to distance themselves from Adair and White.

John White said the UDA leadership had lost all credibility and said its latest statement should be treated with contempt.

In recent weeks, attempts have been made to kill two senior figures in the paramilitary leadership.

The UDA's east belfast leader, Jim Grey, was shot and wounded and a bomb was discovered under John Greg's car on the Rathcoole estate, on the outskirts of Belfast.

There was also an attack on John White two weeks ago. Army experts dealt with what they described as an incendiary type device at his home in Carrickfergus.

As the feud has escalated a major security operation has been put in place in north and west Belfast.

On Friday, several homes and business were damaged in attacks linked to the dispute.

A barber's shop was destroyed while shots were fired at the owner's house.

Karen Truesdale said she believed she was targeted because her family has associations with former Ulster Freedom Fighters leader Johnny Adair.

Earlier, loyalists from the lower Shankill area linked to Adair were blamed for attacks on another two houses in the north of the city.

Windows in both properties were attacked at Westland Drive on Friday morning.

See also:

08 Dec 02 | N Ireland
07 Dec 02 | N Ireland
09 Nov 02 | N Ireland
27 Sep 02 | N Ireland
Links to more N Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.


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