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23 August 2001 Edition

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McGuinness' constituency office targeted

The loyalist bomb attack on the Cookstown Constituency office of Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuinness and the under car bobby trap bomb discovered underneath a vehicle belonging to a former Republican POW are clear evidence that the gun and bomb attacks have started again, Mitchel McLaughlin told a Belfast press conference on Wednesday.

``What we want to draw attention to is the absurd position being adopted by John Reid and Ronnie Flanaghan who, despite the show of strength by the UDA last weekend and over 200 loyalist gun and bomb attacks, refuse to declare that the UDA ceasefire is over, said McLaughlin.

It is in this context that we have to look at the difficulties that are bubbling up within the political process, he said. ``Policing has been dealt with in a flawed an unsatisfactory way. And British military instillations will continue to be a feature, even this time next year, notwithstanding the emerging of new policing boards under the Mandelson Police Act and the implementation plan.

``This reality will remain, also the reality of the blind eye policy towards the ongoing loyalist pogrom and so we're saying to people it is time for a reality check. We should be getting policing right; we should be getting the political institutions back in a way which protects against the unionist veto.

``We should have been able to adopt some of the demilitarisation programme so that installations can be removed and we should be able to make them work in concert with political developments that deal satisfactorily with the disarmament question,'' he continued.

The securocrat agenda is running as strong now as any time during the past seven years of the peace process and has brought us to this point of stagnation, he added. ``All of this is heading into a quite serious logjam because of the policy and approach of John Reid and his advisers.''

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