9 June 2005 Edition

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Fear of renewed loyalist feud after man is shot

FEARS of renewed loyalist feuding have emerged after a man, abducted from a filling station forecourt, was found shot in the chest in a graveyard in County Down at 2.30am on Monday 6 June.

The 26-year-old was found at Redburn Cemetery in Holywood by the PSNI after a resident heard a single shot and the shot man's cries for help.

After undergoing emergency surgery at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, the man remains in a critical condition.

PSNI Superintendent Graham Shields said the man was able to tell them that he had been abducted by four men from the area of the Redburn Filling Station on the Holywood Road.

It is believed the attempted killing may be linked to a brawl between rival loyalist factions in Belfast Laganside Court last Friday, when an attempt was made to throw a man off a fourth floor balcony.

The fight broke out before a judge was due to give judgement in the case of a brother and sister accused of involvement in the killing of senior Red Hand Commando member Jim Johnston at his luxury home in Crawfordsburn, County Down in 2003. It was reported that the killing was in revenge for the killing of LVF leader Stephen Warnock in 2002.

The latest attack comes amid ongoing tensions within loyalism, particularly between the UVF and LVF. A number of attacks have occurred in North Down and in neighbouring East Belfast.


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