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Last Updated: Monday, 31 July 2006, 19:13 GMT 20:13 UK
UDA in talks with 'faction group'
Loyalists at rally
Hundreds attended a UDA show of strength
Members of the UDA's so-called ruling inner council have held talks with representatives of a break-away faction in north Belfast.

Tensions within the UDA are high following a weekend stand-off between rival factions and a public show of strength by its leadership.

Senior figures held talks with members of the organisation in north Belfast loyal to Ihab and Andre Shoukri.

They were expelled from the organisation last month.

Members of the inner council also met Protestant clergy men in the area who are acting as intermediaries in a bid to end the dispute.

Earlier, members of the Ulster Political Research Group, the UDA's political representatives, held talks with government officials as concern grows about a possible feud within the organisation.

UPRG members
UPRG members held talks with government officials

In a statement issued on Saturday evening, the group's so-called 'inner council' claimed that a crowd of 80 dissidents had attacked a number of homes.

It insisted that the organisation's leadership wanted a "peaceful end" to the dispute and called on the police to deal with the situation.

But it said the organisation would respond if there were further attacks on its members.

On Friday night in north Belfast, police seized a shotgun, ammunition and petrol bombs following a stand-off between up to 80 members of rival UDA factions.

A man arrested over the weapons find was released without charge on Monday.


SEE ALSO
UDA in talks on internal dispute
30 Jul 06 |  Northern Ireland
Weapons seized in UDA 'stand-off'
29 Jul 06 |  Northern Ireland
New UDA leadership is appointed
28 Jul 06 |  Northern Ireland
Why UDA expelled 'unlikely loyalists'
21 Jun 06 |  Northern Ireland

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