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Kelly accuses over attacks on republican homes

18 December, 2003

Speaking at a press conference in Belfast this morning, Sinn Féin Assembly member Gerry Kelly accused the PSNI Special Branch of leaking the addresses of Republicans to loyalists.

Mr Kelly was joined at the press conference by Cllr. Paul Maskey, who like Gerry Kelly has recently had his home attacked.

Mr Kelly said:

"Over the past number of weeks at least 12 homes belonging to republicans have been attacked in West Belfast. These included the homes of four Sinn Féin elected representatives.

"In one of the other cases the home of an elderly woman was attacked and she has up to this point felt unable to return home.

"All of the homes have been singled out. These are not random attacks. It is our belief that those carrying out the attacks have been supplied with very accurate information about the addresses of republicans in Belfast. The agency which has this information and has a record of passing it on to loyalist paramilitaries is the Special Branch.

"There has also been an attempt by the PSNI to play down these attacks in the media. They have been described as 'ball bearing attacks'. In some of the cases, but not all, ball bearings have been recovered. But these ball bearings are being fired from high powered gas weapons. They have the potential to seriously injure or even kill.

"I am urging republicans in West Belfast and indeed elsewhere to remain vigilant in the period ahead." ENDS

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