UDA purge: 15 families targeted so far as loyalist terror group launches more attacks

The attacks, which started last Wednesday, were sanctioned by the leadership of South East Antrim (SEA) UDA

Expelled South East Antrim UDA boss Adrian Price

Brian 'Scotch' McLean

North Down UDA mural

Richard SullivanSunday World

Fifteen families have been targeted in a UDA drugs purge in the last five days.

Attacks on elements within a breakaway faction of the loyalist terror group continued over the weekend with fresh attacks in Newtownards and Bangor

In an incident on Sunday, a 62-year-old man was treated by paramedics after petrol bombs were thrown at a house in Newtownards.

There were another two petrol bomb attacks on Saturday, one in Newtownards, another in Bangor.

The attacks which started last Wednesday were sanctioned by the leadership of South East Antrim (SEA) UDA and are believed to have been ordered because of elements within the organisation dealing in heroin and crack cocaine.

Now there are fears it could escalate into a turf war.

The PSNI said the attacks are linked to an ongoing feud between "two rival drug gangs operating under the banner of the Ulster Defence Association in the North Down and Ards areas".

The Sunday World understands the purge is aimed at taking out renegade UDA members who have been lining their own pockets.

Sources have told us there are now only a handful of SEA members left in Newtownards.

While the renegade group’s power base is centred in the Rathcoole estate on the edge of north Belfast and in Carrick and Larne, an element of the faction set up in Newtownards.

North Down UDA mural

Prominent UDA figures including alleged leaders Adrian Price and `Scotch’ Brian McLean have been targeted.

A close associate of Price and the daughter of another leading member have been targeted.

According to sources the ”night of the long knives” purge is the SEA leadership’s attempt to retake control of the drugs market.

They are also keen to defuse tensions with rival terror group the UVF who blamed SEA for bringing heroin to the streets of Newtownards.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) confirmed they were called to put out a blaze in Newtownards on Sunday.

A brick was thrown through a front window and two petrol bombs were thrown into the property, which caused fire damage to the window ledge, roof and floor.

Damage was also caused to a car parked outside the property, police said.

Brian 'Scotch' McLean

PSNI District Commander Supt Johnston said there had also been two attempted hijackings and incidents of graffiti daubed on properties.

Supt McDowell said all of the attacks were unacceptable, but described petrol and pipe bomb attacks as being particularly reckless.

Among the attacks was an incident on Saturday when a number of windows were broken and extensive damage was caused to the front of a seperate property, Newtownards.

"Luckily no-one was at home at the time of the attack, which is being treated as arson with intent to endanger life," said a police spokesperson.

A pipe bomb was thrown at another house in the town at about 21:35 on Saturday.

It was reported that a front window and a wall at the property were damaged during the incident.

The property was occupied at the time, but there were no reports of any injuries.

In Bangor, a petrol bomb was thrown at a house in on Saturday.

A number of windows were broken and scorch damage was caused to the property during the attack.

Three people who were in the house at the time were uninjured.

Police said that attack was being treated as arson with intent to endanger life

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