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.