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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 October, 2004, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
Loyalist's taxi firm to reopen
Threats from the UDA have shut down the firm
A taxi firm owned by a prominent Belfast loyalist, which closed after a number of its drivers were reportedly threatened by the Ulster Defence Association, is to reopen.

Call-a-Cab, which employs 60 drivers and 15 staff, is owned by former Progressive Unionist Party member Jackie Mahood.

Both of its offices were closed on Thursday, but the dispute was resolved following background talks.

A source told the BBC that there was no threat to drivers and the firm would be back in business on Friday.

Mr Mahood, who has survived several loyalist murder bids, refused to be interviewed.

Bomb attack

A PSNI spokeswoman said the police were aware of an alleged incident and were investigating the matter.

The Progressive Unionist Party is closely linked to the other main loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland, the Ulster Volunteer Force.

In February 2001, Mr Mahood blamed the UVF for throwing a pipe bomb into his north Belfast taxi depot.

He also claimed loyalist paramilitaries had tried to kill him twice, because he walked away from the PUP during the all-party talks at Stormont which led to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

In July 2000, Mr Mahood was injured when shots were fired at his car in north Belfast.

In November 1997, he was shot twice in the head and left for dead in the upstairs offices of his taxi firm.

Mr Mahood's brother Bobby, 42, was shot dead along with another man Jackie Coulter, who was a member of the UDA, as they sat in a car in north Belfast in August 2000.

The killings were blamed on the UVF, which was then involved in a feud with the UDA, that left seven men dead.




SEE ALSO:
Loyalist blames UVF for pipe bomb
28 Feb 01  |  Northern Ireland


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