SIGNIFICANT SHORTS : RUC accused of conducting a witch-hunt

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The RUC was last night accused of conducting a witch-hunt against officers who belong to the Protestant Orange Order. Four men, a sergeant and three part-timers, have been suspended after claims they took part in parades in Co Fermanagh. Officers are not prohibited from belonging to any of the loyal orders - they include the Apprentice Boys and the Royal Black Institution - but they can face disciplinary action if they take part in parades.

Police confirmed four officers had been suspended from duty while the force's complaints and disciplinary branch investigate unspecified allegations. But Unionists claimed the suspensions were part of a move against policemen who are members of the various organisations.