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15 May 1997 Edition

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Myth of loyalist ceasefire

The husband of a seven months pregnant Carnmoney woman who survived a Loyalist murder bid on Sunday 11 May has called on the British government to state that no Loyalist ceasfire exits.

The most recent effort to kill a Catholic was on Tuesday 13 May when a taxi driver made a food delivery to a house in Milford County Armagh.

The man received no response from the house and radioed to verify the details. He drove off but then returned. As he drove off a second time, he was approached by a gunman who attempted to fire twice but his gun jammed. The driver got out of his car and wrestled with the gunman, who eventually ran off.

An Phoblacht learnt from Sinn Fein local government candidate Liz Gartland that the driver was stopped at an RUC checkpoint two weeks ago, and was informed by an RUC woman that he looked extremely similar to a local Sinn Fein councillor. The man stressed he has no republican connections, but this attempted murder raises questions of Crown Force collusion. Gartland also warned of a Sinn Fein election team being shadowed by known loyalists, and urged all nationalists to be extremely vigilant.

The murder bid at Carnmoney saw Loyalists machine-gun the home of a Catholic family, where a woman, seven months pregnant, and her two children live. The loyalist gang were observed driving around the house before breaking in. They saw the woman was on her own with her two children, left the house and raked it with gunfire. The woman needed hospital treatment for severe shock. Had the woman's husband been home he would surely have been killed. The gun gang's car had been hijacked in Loyalist Rathcoole.

Also in North Belfast a teenage girl was assaulted by two Loyalist women at her front door. The RUC advised the family to drop their complaint as the father of one of the young women is a well-known Loyalist activist.

After a Loyalist murder bid at Culleybackey in Antrim the RUC confirmed that the incident, a gun shot through the living room window of a house, was sectarian. An RUC spokesperson puzzingly asserted however, that the incident was not linked to paramilitaries.

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An Phoblacht
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