Irish Examiner

‘Loyalist feud at an end’, claims LVF
29/05/2004 - 1:50:11 AM

The bitter feud between rival loyalist terror groups in Belfast is over, it has been claimed.

In a statement late last night, Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) announced that its conflict with the Ulster Volunteer Force had ended

The LVF called for mechanisms to be put in place to prevent any further feuding between rival amongst loyalists.

The fighting was sparked two weeks ago by the LVF when houses were attacked with gunfire and pipe bombs.

The festering divisions erupted fully when the UVF assassinated senior LVF man Brian Stewart, 34, in east Belfast last week.

Since then shots have been fired into several homes and bomb attacks mounted on properties stretching out of the city into North Down. A number of families were forced to flee their homes.

Most of the violence came from the UVF side as the organisation attempted to crush the smaller LVF.

The LVF said it hoped that Stewart’s death “will be the last of a loyalist by the hand of other loyalists” and that the conflict “is now ended”.

The group said that mechanisms and structures to prevent further feuds between loyalists needed to be set in place and all sides needed to adhere to agreed guidelines.

The terror group referred to the incidents that started the feud and insisted they had neither been sanctioned or authorised.

It said there would be an inquiry and what it called “disciplinary procedures”.

The statement came following efforts by clergymen to broker a cease-fire and a 90-minute meeting between prominent members of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and senior police.

Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland told the UUP representatives that extra police and soldiers would be drafted into east Belfast if the turf war escalated.

UUP councillor Jim Rogers warned the terror bosses to halt the shootings and bombings – or face being locked up.

“The police have got very good intelligence on those involved in this,” he said. “If they want to keep out of prison they should stop immediately because the security forces are going to catch up with them.”

Mr McCausland described his meeting with the politicians as “positive and constructive”.

He said: “The police are committed to meeting all groups willing to hold discussions towards a safer community.”

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