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EDITIONS
 Friday, 20 December, 2002, 17:34 GMT
Bomb attack on loyalist leader
UDA flag
The feud has been taking place within the UDA
A so-called commander of the Ulster Defence Association has again been targeted as part of a feud between loyalist paramilitaries.

A pipe bomb was found at the home of John Gregg, described as the leader of the UDA in south-east Antrim.

The police and Army sealed off part of Nendrum Gardens in the Rathcoole area, north of Belfast, after a suspect object was found at his home.
John Gregg: House targeted twice
John Gregg: House targeted twice

It is the second such attack on the UDA leader in just over a week.

The attacks are being blamed on loyalists close to the ousted UDA leader Johnny Adair.

On Thursday night, two homes were damaged in shooting incidents linked to the feud.

'House attacked'

Shots were fired at the home of Tommy Kirkham, who is a member of the Ulster Political Research Group, at about 2000 GMT.

The group was formed to provide analysis to the loyalist Ulster Defence Association after the dissolving of its political affiliate, the Ulster Democratic Party.

Mr Kirkham, a Newtownabbey councillor, said he was in the house at Richmond Road in Carnmoney with his son when the attack happened. Neither of them was injured.

Tommy Kirkham
Tommy Kirkham's home was targeted
At the same time, a number of shots were fired at a house in the Brae Hill area, off the Crumlin Road in north Belfast.

It is understood the same house was attacked last week.

They are believed to be the latest in a series of attacks connected to the feud between lower Shankill loyalist Johnny Adair and members of the Ulster Defence Association, who expelled him from its leadership in September.

Security patrols have been increased in an attempt to keep the rival factions apart.

'Murder attempt'

Police are also investigating reports of shots being fired in the loyalist Rathcoole area of Newtownabbey.

They are also looking into reports of a suspicious object on the roof of a social club in the loyalist Taughmonagh estate in south Belfast.

On Thursday, the police said they foiled a loyalist murder attempt in north Belfast.

Two men, who were on a motorbike, were arrested and two handguns recovered during the operation on the Ballysillan Road.

The men ran from the scene when challenged by police officers who believed they were acting suspiciously.

The police said one of their officers was struck by a vehicle while chasing after a man.

He is in a stable condition in hospital.

Meanwhile, a man has appeared in court in Belfast charged with two attempted murders linked to the loyalist feud.

George Thomas McHenry, 35, from Ardoyne Road in the north of the city, was accused of attempting to murder two men in the city last week.

He was also charged with possessing a handgun and ammunition with intent to endanger life. He was remanded in custody when he appeared in court on Friday.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  BBC NI's Julia Paul:
"Police say they are stepping up their patrols in the north of the city"
  BBC NI's Julian Fowler:
"Police are investigating shots being fired in other parts of the city"
  BBC NI's Tom Coulter:
"What looked like a pipe bomb type device was clearly visible"
See also:

17 Dec 02 | N Ireland
08 Dec 02 | N Ireland
13 Dec 02 | N Ireland
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