Republicans sceptical of PUP abduction claim

Republicans in North Belfast are today initially sceptical about the PUP's claims of an apparent attempt to abduct Billy Hutchinson in Belfast this morning.

Republicans in North Belfast are today initially sceptical about the PUP's claims of an apparent attempt to abduct Billy Hutchinson in Belfast this morning.

One source in Ardoyne said: “People here are a bit staggered at the claims and that someone from this area tried to abduct Mr Hutchinson.

Police in the North are investigating the incident.

“It has been a quiet summer in this area. Why would anybody jeopardise that?”

Sources in the Progressive Unionist Party claimed that somebody tried to abduct Billy Hutchinson, the party's former Assemblyman for north Belfast, while he was out jogging at around 6.15am.

The sources said the abduction was foiled by a security man who was nearby at the time.

Sinn Féin councillor Margaret McClenaghan said: “The finger is being pointed at people in Ardoyne but what strikes me is that the area where this incident is reported to have taken place is close to the lower Shankill.

Police confirmed they were investigating "an alleged incident" in the Cambria street area.

“It was also not that long ago since another prominent loyalist claimed he was targeted in a gun attack by people from Ardoyne and it turned out to be bogus,” she said.

“If this incident occurred, whoever was responsible should be condemned but people in Ardoyne feel very much in danger after these reports. People are on edge.”

Police have appealed for anyone who noticed anything suspicious to contact detectives.

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