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22 May 1997 Edition

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Loyalist attacks continue

By Mick Naughton.

A series of loyalist attacks over the weekend left one man dead, a Lisburn family homeless and two Catholic families in Larne vowing to leave the East Antrim town.

In the early hours of Sunday morning 18 May, in a loyalist area of North Belfast, the discovery of the body of William Harbinson points to another breach of the so-called loyalist ceasefire despite the continued ``no claim-no blame'' tactic of the loyalist death squads.

Harbinson, a married man with a family from Hopewell Crescent, behind Crumlin Road courthouse, was found in an alleyway, handcuffed and with extensive head injuries.

The body was discovered by a woman and her boyfriend at around 2am as they returned home.

The area where his body was found has witnessed a feud between the UVF and UDA from May of last year and it is believed he is the latest victim of this vicious battle for loyalist dominance of the Shore Road area.

In Lisburn a family has vowed never to return to their Wallace Avenue home after a double petrol bomb attack in which a nine year old girl and two year old boy had lucky escapes when the rooms they were in were engulfed in flames.

The children were among five people who had to scramble for their lives when two petrol bombs were thrown at the terraced house. The bedroom was completely gutted and there was considerable smoke damage in the downstairs living room. One of the devices landed beside an outside oil tank causing fears of an explosion.

The family, who had lived in their home for 14 years, said they would not be returning. They are presently staying with friends. As yet a clear motive for this attack has not been established.

Also, after attacks on their homes in the mainly Loyalist town of Larne two Catholic families are vowing to leave the East Antrim town.

The windows of one house occupied by a woman and her children were broken while in the other incident a man had to barricade himself into his third floor flat after a loyalist gang tried to enter.
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