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The BBC's Tom Coulter
"A red Cavalier car pulled up and opened fire on them"
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The PUP's Billy Hutchinson:
I don't know where this is going to lead
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Friday, 26 May, 2000, 21:12 GMT 22:12 UK
Feud link to murder
Scene of shooting
Police cordon off the scene after the shooting
Police have ruled out a sectarian motive for the murder of a 35-year-old man in a loyalist area of north Belfast.

Martin Taylor, from Prestwick Park in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast, was shot dead at 1130 BST on Friday.

A second man escaped injury in the attack on the Ballysillan Road at Silverstream Park.

The man had been helping a neighbour rebuild a wall
The man had been helping a neighbour rebuild a wall
The shooting occurred near the scene of an attempted murder on Wednesday.

That attack has been linked to a feud between the Ulster Volunteer Force and rival loyalists.

A red Cavalier car used in the shooting was found burnt out at Gibson Town Road in Templepatrick, County Antrim.

The police have said they have not ruled out the possibility that the murder could be linked to a loyalist feud.

'Indiscriminate shooting'

RUC Detective Superintendent John Brannigan said it was a "brutal execution".

He said the man who died at the scene was shot in the upper body and possibly also in the head.

Bystanders said up to 15 shots were fired
Bystanders said up to 15 shots were fired
"A red car pulled up outside number 28 Silverstream Park.

"There were two people in the car. A masked man got out and fired a number of shots at two people who were working at the house.

"It was a totally indescriminate shooting and bullets were sprayed the entire length of Silverstream Park and beyond that," he said.

Bystanders said they heard shots fired at the two men who were working at a wall in the front garden of the house.

They said one man was shot while the other ran off, pursued by the car, with shots still being fired.

A horse which was being kept at a nearby house was injured by a stray bullet.

'Terrible incident'

Progressive Unionist Party assemblyman Billy Hutchinson, who knew the men, said it was possible the attack was carried out in retaliation by another loyalist organisation.

The PUP has links with the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force.

Mr Hutchinson said: "This is a terrible incident. "It will be interesting to see how the police identify who carried out this shooting.

"In recent times, they have been quick to point the finger at the UVF.

"Obviously, this looks like some sort of feud. I suspect it is a loyalist organisation trying to flex its muscles."

Mr Hutchinson also said that the victim was not a member of the PUP but had worked for him in the past, putting up election posters for the party.

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See also:

24 May 00 | Northern Ireland
UVF linked to shooting attempt
11 Jan 00 | Northern Ireland
Murder as loyalist feud boils over
28 Feb 00 | Northern Ireland
'End feud' loyalist politician appeals
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