Loyalist feuding set to escalate
Loyalist feuding set to escalate

UVF gunmen who assassinated a delivery driver outside a south Belfast shop have pledged to intensify their onslaught against their paramilitary rivals.

Michael Green was ambushed as he arrived to open up the furniture store where he worked. The father-of-three was shot at least five times by two armed UVF men.

He was the fourth man to be murdered since the organisation’s long-running feud with the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) re-erupted earlier this year.

Green came from the LVF stronghold of Ballysillan in north Belfast, but it was not clear if he was linked with the organisation.

The PSNI police have been accused of tolerating the UVF murder campaign amid reports that some UVF leaders are working in co-operation with British forces. While the PSNI have so far failed to bring charges in the ongoing killings, it recently co-operated with the UVF to expel families of LVF rivals.

In the notorious incident, hundreds of UVF men laid siege to a housing estate in the east of the city in a bid to drive out families associated with the LVF, while police and British soldiers standing by appeared to be providing back-up.

Commenting on the most recent feud killing, South Belfast Sinn Féin representative Alex Maskey criticised unionist political leaders for failing to speak out on the spate of murders.

He also said the UVF-LVF feud had masked from public view the ongoing sectarian campaign against Catholics.

“Given the fact that unionist politicians have for decades tolerated and in some instances encouraged the sectarian anti-catholic campaigns of the various unionist paramilitaries, it is not credible to suggest that they are powerless to act in the face of this latest feud.

“Both the DUP and UUP sit on various forums and commissions with the leaderships of the UDA and UVF. They are quite happy to do this while at the same time ignoring the democratic mandate of others.

“However given their unique position of influence with the hierarchies of the unionist paramilitaries people have a right to know what they are doing to stop ongoing sectarian attacks and indeed stopping this internal killing feud.”


Meanwhile, an arson attack on a newsagents in north Belfast is being linked to an ongoing vendetta by the unionist paramilitary UDA against the Sunday World newspaper.

Two men walked in to the shop on the Antrim Road and set fire to a bundle of papers before walking out of the shop again.

The shop, which is in a loyalist area, was extensively damaged in the attack. A male shop assistant and his female colleague escaped without injury and but were treated for shock and smoke inhalation.

The UDA is suspected of being behind the arson attack, which had demanded that newsagents stop stocking the popular Irish weekly, the Sunday World. The paper has a reputation for reporting on drug-running and other gangland criminal activities of the unionist paramilitary organisations.

In September 2001, one of the paper’s reporters, Martin O’Hagan, was shot dead by the UDA near his Lurgan home. A former northern editor of the Sunday World, Jim Campbell, was badly wounded in a loyalist murder attempt on his life in 1984.

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