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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 July, 2005, 21:17 GMT 22:17 UK
PUP 'has no influence over UVF'
Forensic scientists at scene of Belfast shooting
Forensic scientists gathered evidence at scene of latest shooting
The Progressive Unionist Party has no influence over the loyalist UVF paramilitary group, party leader David Ervine has said.

The feud between the UVF and LVF is to be examined by the body that oversees paramilitary ceasefires in NI.

The Independent Monitoring Commission has told the two governments the murders resulting from the feud will be a particular focus of inquiry for it.

Loyalist sources have linked the UVF to a gun attack in east Belfast.

Shots were fired into a house at Avonorr Drive in the lower Newtownards Road area on Thursday just after midnight.

Not only myself but the whole of the Progressive Unionist Party has no influence on what's happening on our streets at all
David Ervine
Progressive Unionist Party

A man, who is in his 30s, escaped injury when bullets came through the bathroom window of his house.

Police said they are treating the shooting as attempted murder.

A car was found burnt out nearby in Bendigo Street about an hour later.

David Ervine of the Progressive Unionist Party said they were powerless to intervene with the UVF and LVF feud.

"Not only myself but the whole of the Progressive Unionist Party has no influence on what's happening on our streets at all.

"We are seeing people injured and dying who were in primary school or just beginning secondary school when the (1994) ceasefires were called," he said.

"Anyone who is not moved by that isn't a human being - it's terrible and it must end."

Allowances withheld

On Wednesday, Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said he intended to withhold the Progressive Unionist Party's assembly allowances for another year.

The decision followed the latest report from the Independent Monitoring Commission, which said the UVF and Red Hand Commando remained active, violent and involved in organised crime.

The PUP is linked to the UVF and Red Hand Commando.

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey called on those "who brokered the last loyalist feud" to help end the current dispute.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan welcomed the IMC probe into the feud.

"People cannot be allowed to murder and maim and expect the rest of us to turn a blind eye," Mr Durkan said.

East Belfast DUP assembly member Robin Newton said paramilitaries "who pretend to represent the people," should be listening to what they are saying.

"They are saying, they don't want violence on their streets," he said.

A police spokesperson said they were keeping an open mind about the motive for the latest attack, but it is understood one line of inquiry is that it is linked to the loyalist feud.

Tensions

The incident comes two days after shots were fired at a house in the Sydenham area of east Belfast, in an attack also linked to a row between the Ulster Volunteer Force and Loyalist Volunteer Force.

Escalating tensions between the loyalist paramilitary groupings has already claimed the lives of two men.

Craig McCausland, 20, was shot by the UVF at his girlfriend's house in north Belfast last week - he later died in hospital.

The UVF believed he was a member of the rival LVF, but his family have strongly denied he had links to any paramilitary group.

Earlier this month, Jameson Lockhart, also from north Belfast, was shot as he sat in a lorry in east Belfast.

The UVF was also linked to that killing.


SEE ALSO:
PUP 'being pushed from politics'
20 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland
Feud killing 'ruthless execution'
12 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland


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