Unionist paramilitaries `stoking up' violence
Unionist paramilitaries `stoking up' violence

The unionist paramilitary LVF, UVF and UDA have been accused of escalating tensions as the marching season approcahes.

Last week, an attack by the LVF on a Gaelic sports club in County Down followed a dispite over the flying of LVF flags in Holywood and nearby parts of East Belfast.

Just hours before the PSNI took down the flags in the Loughview estate loyalist supporters of the LVF daubed paramilitary slogans on St Paul's clubhouse in nearby Holywood, which has been petrol bombed in the past.

`LVF' was sprayed on the building as well as the words `Taigs Out'.

Four loyalists were jailed for possession of paramilitary paraphenalia -- LVF flags -- in a departure for policing in the North of Ireland. The four are the first in the North to be jailed for such offences.

Meanwhile, loyalists were blamed for leaving a ``viable explosive device'' at the rear of a house in Coleraine, County Derry.

The device was found in the nationalist Somerset Drive area on Monday shortly before noon.

Mr Leonard, who switched allegiance from the SDLP to Sinn Féin in January, said he believed loyalists were behind the attack.

``Locals know that the recent history of pipe bombs in this type of situation in Coleraine clearly points to loyalists at their work,'' he said.

``They are fearful and I would appeal to nationalists and republicans to be vigilant.

``This incident placed young children in particular and ordinary families in general at grave risk.''

Unionists paramilitaries have also been blamed for planting a bomb at a house in east Belfast and causing of a wave of security alerts across the city on Friday.

Most of the devices were declared hoaxes. However, a device left on the doorstep of a house in Shaw Street yesterday morning proved to be viable.

Sinn Féin north Belfast councillor Caral Ni Chuilin accused unionist paramilitaries of trying to ``stoke up tensions'' ahead of the marching season.

``We have had a series of devices left throughout north Belfast since the start of the year and we have had ongoing attacks and intimidation,'' she said.

``This latest round of traffic chaos only serves to stoke up tensions ahead of the marching season.''

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