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Loyalists pledge to step up terror campaign.

LOYALIST paramilitaries warned last night that they will step up their terror campaign after leaving a pipe bomb at offices used by Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuinness.

The Red Hand Defenders also admitted planting a booby trap device under a former republican prisoner's van in Armagh city.

McGuinness was on holiday when the RUC cleared around 40 buildings in the Burn Road area of Cookstown, County Tyrone.

Police confirmed a crude pipe bomb had been discovered and dealt with by Army explosives experts.

They also disclosed that a mercury tilt switch had been fitted to the device found under the van in Armagh. It was defused by the Army.

The Red Hand Defenders - used as a cover name for the Ulster Defence Association and the Loyalist Volunteer Force - sparked revulsion when it admitted murdering Protestant teenager Gavin Brett last month.

But after issuing its statement claiming responsibility for yesterday's attacks, it vowed: "Our campaign will increase."

Earlier, a group calling itself the Loyalist Action Force said it was responsible for the Cookstown device.

The alerts, plus a bomb warning in Londonderry, came amid heightening fears of a fresh outbreak of loyalist paramilitary attacks.

Sinn Fein chairman Mitchel McLaughlin insisted the UDA's ceasefire was now in tatters.

He accused the UDA of mounting a fresh campaign against Catholics and hit out at RUC Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan and Ulster Secretary John Reid for failing to acknowledge this.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 23, 2001
Words:237
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