11 in court after loyalist 'show of strength'

Eleven men are due to appear in court today charged in connection with an alleged loyalist "show of strength" in Belfast.

Eleven men are due to appear in court today charged in connection with an alleged loyalist "show of strength" in Belfast.

Police, firing CS gas, stormed a bar in the Tiger’s Bay area last week where reputed senior members of the Ulster Defence Association were reported to have been rehearsing the paramilitary show of strength.

The men, due before Belfast Magistrates Court, have been charged under the Terrorism Act 2000.

All the men were charged with “arranging, organising or assisting in the arranging or managing of a meeting to support a proscribed organisation”, said a police spokesman.

Seven of them have also been charged with “wearing an item of clothing in such a way, or in such circumstances, as to arise reasonable suspicion that he is a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation”.

The proscribed organisations involved are the UDA and the associated Ulster Freedom Fighters.

A further six men who were arrested when police stormed the Alexander Bar on the York Road on Thursday night – and a woman arrested on Saturday – have been released without charge pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service.

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