Sunday Life

UVF behind Mid-Ulster race attacks

05 September 2004

THE UVF has been hit by new race-hate allegations.

Members of the terrorist group are suspected of being behind the recent racist attacks in mid-Ulster.

There have been several attacks on members of the ethnic community in the area in recent weeks.

In Armagh city, a Lithuanian man needed hospital treatment after he was badly beaten by a number of attackers.

A few hours later, the man's home, in Alexander Park, was damaged by a petrol bomb.

In nearby Dungannon, members of the town's large Portuguese-speaking community have also been targeted.

And two weeks ago, the homes of two Portuguese families in Portadown's loyalist Rectory Park estate, were damaged when a gang smashed doors in an early morning attack.

Another immigrant worker was beaten up near Portadown town centre, a few days earlier.

Security sources said they believed the Portadown attacks were linked to an incident in the town a few weeks ago, when a relative of a senior loyalist was injured in a fight between UVF members and immigrants.

The sources added the attack on the two Portuguese families was the work of the UVF.

The victims had no link to the fight, and were picked on by the UVF at random.

Earlier this year, an embarrassed David Ervine, leader of the UVF-linked PUP, admitted that members of the terrorist group had been distributing racist literature in south Belfast, and condemned their actions.

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