SF blames loyalists for bullets in envelopes

02/09/2004 - 12:43:24

Sinn Féin has blamed loyalist paramilitaries for attempting to send more than 10 envelopes containing bullets to Sinn Féin representatives.

Postal workers in the North intercepted the envelopes at a sorting office in Mallusk, Co Antrim, last night and called in the police.

Those targeted included Assembly members Alex Maskey, Gerry Kelly, Fra McCann and Philip McGuigan, as well as councillors Gerard O’Neill, Veronica Wills and Francie Braniff.

Another of the packages was addressed to the home of the elderly parents of leading Belfast republican Bobby Storey.

Mr Storey does not live there, but his Down’s syndrome brother does. “There can be no justification whatsoever in deliberately targeting an elderly couple and their Down’s syndrome son,” said West Belfast Assembly member Michael Ferguson.

Sinn Féin's Mitchel McLaughlin said it was quite obviously an attempt to intimidate the party's elected representatives and party activists.

“It bears all the hallmarks of an operation carried out by one of the unionist paramilitary groupings,” he said.

Such attempts at intimidation had failed in the past and would do so again, he said.

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