Belfast murder linked to drugs


RUC detectives have questioned a number of people in connection with the murder of a suspected drugs dealer on the northern outskirts of Belfast. The dead man, who has been named as Mr Francis Turley, escaped death in a British army intelligence operation eight years ago.

Mr Turley, who was found shot dead on the railway line at Whiteabbey on Friday evening, is widely believed to be the "fourth man" who escaped when three of his colleagues were killed by soldiers during an aborted robbery on the Falls Road in 1990.

Originally from Short Strand, Mr Turley was recently released from prison. Police ruled out a sectarian motive for his killing. The RUC said all those arrested in connection with the murder were subsequently released.

Meanwhile, a 24-year-old woman appeared before a special court in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, yesterday evening, charged with aiding and abetting the murder of Mr John Knocker last month. Ms Kathleen Keenan of Ashfield Court was remanded in custody until June 22nd. Mr Knocker (22) was shot in a hotel car park after what police believe was a dispute over drugs money.

In Derry, petrol bombs were thrown at an RUC station in Creggan in rioting early on Saturday morning. A car was used to ram the station and this was later set alight. No one was injured, but the gates of the station and a police vehicle received scorch damage.

In Ballymena, Co Antrim, a man sustained a broken arm in a paramilitary-style punishment beating at the weekend. Armed and masked men forced their way into the 28-year-old man's home at Chichester Park and beat him with iron bars in front of his wife and two daughters.

Also on Saturday morning, a teenage couple were attacked as they lay in bed in their house in Artigarvan, on the outskirts of Strabane, Co Tyrone. Three masked men, armed with bars and a spade, took part in the attack.