Police in North Belfast tonight raided a bar in what is believed to be a major operation against the loyalist Ulster Defence Association.
There were reports that at around 7pm police officers swooped on the Alexander Bar near York St Railway Station while UDA men were rehearsing a show of strength planned for tomorrow night.
Loyalist sources claimed tear gas was fired during the operation through upstairs windows.
They said several leading UDA figures in the north of the city were arrested.
“Currently there are around seven Land Rovers around the bar,” one loyalist source said.
“The place looks like it has been riddled with bullets. Five top windows are nearly completely in.
“Between 10 to 15 people have been arrested and you are talking about some well-known figures.”
Other sources said police were extensively searching the bar for weapons.