INLA feud claims fifth victim

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The Independent Online
A man was shot dead in the Turf Lodge area of west Belfast yesterday in the latest attack in an internal feud in the Irish National Liberation Army.

Francis Shannon, from Ardoyne, north Belfast, was gunned down at Norfolk Way and died soon after at the city's Royal Victoria Hospital. The INLA claimed responsibility for the killing - the fifth person to die in the feud since January.

Shannon was reported to be wearing a bullet-proof vest and was shot four times in the head, twice as he lay on the ground. He was also shot once in the body.

RUC Detective Chief Superintendent Derek Martindale said: "This was a clinical killing. It is a sickening death in front of so many children who were in the street at the time."

The feud has been going on since a split early last year when one faction declared a ceasefire following the IRA's announcement of a truce in August l994.

This led to the murder of INLA chief Gino Gallagher at DHSS offices on Belfast's Falls Road in January. Since then there has been a series of tit-for-tat attacks.

Meanwhile, police in London said yesterday that they had released two men who were arrested in South Armagh on Friday for questioning in connection with the Docklands bomb in February. They were continuing to question four other men about the blast which ended the IRA ceasefire.

In the Irish Republic it was revealed that two IRA men released early from jail before the ceasefire broke down were among prime suspects for the killing of a police detective in Co Limerick last week. The pair are linked to an IRA unit thought to have carried out the fatal shooting in the village of Adare on Friday.

The dead officer and a seriously injured colleague were in an unmarked car escorting post office cash deliveries. A pounds 100,000 cash haul was left by the gunmen as they escaped.

Police immediately signalled their view that there was a firm IRA connection. But within hours a statement from the IRA denied any involvement.