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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 January, 2005, 22:38 GMT
More patrols after feud violence
Patrols have more than doubled in north Belfast
Patrols have more than doubled in north Belfast
The number of officers patrolling north Belfast has increased in response to an escalating loyalist paramilitary feud.

There has been growing violence in a dispute between the Loyalist Volunteer Force and the Ulster Volunteer Force.

A taxi company part-owned by a prominent loyalist has been forced to close and several people have been beaten and intimidated.

The PSNI doubled the number of officers on duty in the north of the city on Tuesday night.

Superintendent Gary White said the violence must stop.

"There is a fear within the community," he said.

"I reassure the community of north Belfast the police will do all in our power:

"We're drafting in additional resources; we're bringing in a team of specialist detectives to help us to look at the criminality that's involved here.

"We'll be deploying resources such as CCTV to make sure that we take every opportunity to bring the people who are committing these crimes to justice."

In the latest incident on Monday, two cars belonging to taxi drivers working for a firm part-owned by loyalist Jackie Mahood were burned.

It happened at Carnan Street and Westway Gardens.

At the weekend, a number of other taxis working for the same company, were also set alight.

The police have confirmed that paramilitaries were behind a number of the attacks.

Mr Mahood told the BBC the attacks were part of an orchestrated campaign to destroy his business.

A car belonging to a taxi driver was burnt out
A car belonging to a taxi driver was burnt out

He said radio and computer equipment had been taken from the homes of staff. He has temporarily closed his taxi company.

He said the business would remain closed until assurances were given that the attacks and intimidation would end.

Police carrying out searches in the Ballysillan area on Monday were attacked with petrol bombs.

Four police vehicles were damaged. No-one was injured and one person was arrested.

The UVF was blamed for an attack on two women in their west Belfast home at about 1850 GMT on Sunday.

Three hooded men smashed the front windows at a house in Hopewell Crescent in the Shankill area.

They threw a jar of black paint over the women, before threatening them.

The Progressive Unionist Party, which has links to the UVF, has denied the UVF was responsible.

North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds condemned the arson attacks.

"Ordinary hard working men are losing their livelihoods, having their property destroyed and are in fear of their lives," he said.

Mr Dodds said the withdrawal of taxi services was causing problems for the community. He said this was about "gangsterism".

He also condemned attacks on two men in north Belfast on Monday which, he said, were "random" and "vicious".




SEE ALSO:
Loyalist's taxi firm is targeted
23 Jan 05 |  Northern Ireland


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