N. Ireland: Outlawed Protestant group blamed for vigilante attack

August 28, 2007 20:15

An outlawed Protestant gang in Northern Ireland, the Ulster Defense Association, was blamed Tuesday for beating, tarring and feathering a Belfast drug dealer. The unidentified man was left tied to a pole in the middle of Taughmonagh, a hard-line Protestant part of south Belfast dominated by the UDA. Photographs of the victim showed a placard draped around his neck declaring: "I'm a drug dealing scumbag." Police and politicians blamed the UDA. The episode renewed questions about whether the group - which itself has been deeply embroiled in drug dealing - will renounce violence in support of Northern Ireland's peace process, a move that would require it to cede control of many hard-line Protestant parts of Belfast.

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