::: u.tv :::

Police stoned again in the Markets

Police investigating a brutal murder in Belfast came under stoning attack by republicans for the second night running tonight.

TUESDAY 01/02/2005 18:07:00
By:Press Association

The trouble flared again as houses in the Markets area were searched by officers investigating the killing of a man who died in hospital yesterday after being stabbed outside a nearby bar on Sunday night, said a PSNI spokesman.

Bricks, bottles and other missiles rained down on officers during sporadic outbreaks of trouble.

A senior republican was one of two men still being questioned by murder squad detectives after being arrested during similar searches in the area last night.

Other searches carried out just across the River Lagan in the nationalist Short Strand area earlier today passed off without incident.

Robert McCartney, 33, from the Short Strand, died of stab wounds after being found unconscious in Cromac Street on Sunday night after a fight broke out in Magennis`s Bar in the neighbouring May Street.

Sinn Fein former Belfast Lord Major Alex Maskey blamed the street disturbances and attacks on police on "heavy-handed" police tactics.

He said police had been in the area from early morning but there had been no trouble until they started to "kick down doors of known republican homes".

He added: "It is very regrettable that what appears to have been a very tragic incident at a bar has been turned into a serious political situation."

Police dismissed the accusation and said searches were being conducted in a "proportionate and appropriate manor".

A spokesman added: "A young man has lost his life in horrific circumstances and police are carrying out a murder investigation.

As part of the investigation a number of searches have been carried out and are ongoing in relation to the murder.

"The searches are being conducted in a proportionate and appropriate manor and it is regrettable that police officers involved in the search in the Markets were subjected to attack."

However, the PSNI said it wished to thank those who had assisted the investigation and urged anyone with information to contact them.

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