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Last Updated: Monday, 25 July, 2005, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Attacks 'linked' to loyalist feud
Taxi office which was damaged by deliberate fire
Police said fire at taxi office was arson
A bomb and attack and a deliberate fire in north Belfast are linked to a feud between the LVF and UVF paramilitary groups, the police have said.

A fire caused extensive damage to a taxi depot on the Ballysillan Road at about 0300 BST. Two other properties were also damaged.

A blast bomb was thrown at a house in the Westway area of Ballygomartin at about 0400 BST. No-one was injured.

It is understood some people have left their east Belfast homes over the feud.

The police said they were called to the Garnerville area of the city on Sunday following reports of large numbers of people on the streets, but there were no reports of any trouble.

A senior loyalist source has told the BBC that UVF members went to the area and warned those with LVF links to leave.

Man whose home was hit by bomb
These people are very irresponsible and what they are doing is satanic work - it is pure evil
Samuel McIlwaine
Blast bomb victim

Samuel McIlwaine, who is disabled, said the blast bomb exploded in the driveway of his Ballygomartin home, behind his son's car.

"It landed in the wrong house," he said.

"These people are very irresponsible. What they are doing is satanic work - it is pure evil.

"It happened at about 0350 (BST). I had been up most of the night with painful legs because I am disabled.

Mr McIlwaine had to use an electric chairlift to get down the stairs.

"My wife and I are pretty shaken by it, it really took us by surprise. We are members of no organisation - I am a Christian."

Indications at the time would have led us to believe it was deliberately set on fire
Station officer Alan Cunningham

Fire station officer Alan Cunningham said fire crews from Westland Road and Springfield Road attended the taxi depot blaze, which looked to have been started deliberately.

"They discovered a commercial block comprising a shop, a taxi rank, a domestic flat and a fast food restaurant with large amounts of smoke issuing from the roof space," he said.

"The flat was found to be heavily smoke-logged, unoccupied and no fire present."

However, a well-developed fire was discovered in the taxi rank, he said.

"It engulfed two of the four rooms in there. The taxi rank was extensively damaged in the fire.

Chief Superintendent Mike Little said police were "working around the clock to help protect life and property" in north Belfast.

Evidence

"I would appeal to those who are carrying out these attacks to cease immediately before more lives are put in danger," he said.

"We are currently in the process of identifying those involved in the recent attacks and we need the community's help to turn information into evidence that we can put before the courts."

North Belfast DUP assembly member Nelson McCausland said more must be done to protect the public from the ongoing feud.

"It is clear that people who are not involved do get caught up in it and there are innocent people who suffer as well as those who have been directly involved with the violence and with the organisations," he said.

Two lives have been claimed in the dispute between the paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force and Loyalist Volunteer Force groupings.

At the weekend, Progressive Unionist Party leader David Ervine predicted that the feud was going to get worse.

Mr Ervine also revealed that the UVF had stopped debating whether it will follow the IRA into a new mode.

He said the UVF had been consulting on its future but has put the debate about going into a new peaceful mode on hold.




SEE ALSO:
PUP 'has no influence over UVF'
21 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland
Party is urged to sever UVF link
19 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland
Feud killing 'ruthless execution'
12 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland


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