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PSNI operation in Short Strand in contrast to inaction over siege

26 April, 2005

East Belfast Sinn Féin Representative Deborah Devenny has said that the timing of raids and arrests in the Short Strand area today had angered many local people.

Ms Devenny said:

"The PSNI have briefed the media that the raids and arrests within the Short Strand community this morning are in relation to the siege of this community by unionist paramilitary gangs two summers ago.

"At that time the PSNI colluded with those unionists mounting attacks on homes in the Short Strand from Cluan Place. This morning the PSNI arrested a number of people from within the Short Strand and searched a number of homes. Given the experience of this community at that time when homes were destroyed and lives disrupted this mornings operation has caused a great deal of local anger.

"This morning's PSNI operation is in stark contrast to their inaction at the time when this community was under attack.

"Also the timing of the operation years on from the siege of Short Strand and in the middle of an election campaign fuel many peoples suspicions that this mornings PSNI operation is more of a fairly blatant political intervention than anything else." ENDS

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