Talks take place in bid to prevent loyalist feud

Further talks are taking place today in an effort to prevent a possible feud between rival factions of the UDA in north Belfast.

Further talks are taking place today in an effort to prevent a possible feud between rival factions of the UDA in north Belfast.

Tensions have been high ever since the organisation's so-called Inner Council formally expelled the local leaders, Ihab and Andre Shoukri, last week.

The two half-Egyptian brothers are currently in prison, but their supporters responded to their expulsion by attacking rivals in the mainstream group over the weekend.

The stand-off has raised fears of yet another internal loyalist feud and extra police have been put on the streets in an effort to prevent violence.

The UDA Inner Council has already held talks with representatives of the breakaway faction loyal to the Shoukri brothers and with Protestant clergymen acting as intermediaries in an effort to end the dispute.

The UDA's political wing, the Ulster Political Research Group, has also met the British government to discuss ways to ease the tensions.

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