Police follow tip on murder victim

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The Independent Online
POLICE in Northern Ireland last night were waiting to search a house where it is claimed the body of a murder victim has been dumped. This follows reports that a Catholic man was abducted by loyalists from a housing estate in Lurgan.

At the same time police and soldiers mounted a major operation against the paramilitary Loyalist Volunteer Force on another estate at Lurgan, arresting three people.

Police sources stated that they were taking reports of the body "extremely seriously" but they were waiting to enter the derelict building at Soldierstown Road in Aghalee while they checked for boobytraps.

The news of the search and fears of a sectarian killing came as tension in the province mounted by the hour yesterday. Senior officers are preparing for a republican backlash on the streets if Sinn Fein are kicked out of the peace talks. In this climate the sectarian murder of a Catholic, they say, would be "incendiary".

The three suspects were arrested in the staunchly loyalist Mournview Estate and taken for questioning to Gough Barracks in Armagh. The LVF murdered six Catholics following the assassination of their leader Billy Wright inside the Maze Prison in December by the republican Irish National Liberation Army.

RUC chief constable Ronnie Flanagan set up a special team to collate intelligence and carry out operations against the LVF following the spate of killings last month.