EXCLUSIVE: THERE were fresh tensions inside the UDA’s fractured north Belfast brigade this evening.
PSNI Tactical Support Group officers were diverted from a loyalist protest at Twaddell to the Tiger’s Bay area.
It followed reports that supporters loyal to banged up UDA brigadier John Bunting tried to force a number of rival loyalists out of their homes.
One of those the mainstream UDA tried but failed to force out of his home was ‘Big’ Bill Hill.
He became prominent during the loyalist Union Jack flag protest.
Security sources said that the PSNI launched its ‘India 99′ helicopter to provide aerial support to TSG officers on the ground.
Last month, north Belfast UDA brigadier John Bunting and his right hand man John Howcroft faced Belfast Magistrates’ Court accused of the attempted murder of convicted UDA extortionist John ‘Bonzo’ Boreland.
The 44-year-old was shot in the thigh earlier this week after a car he was travelling in with former north Belfast UDA brigadier Andre Shoukri was attacked with a breeze block.
Bunting and Howcroft and a third man were further charged with possession of a firearm.
Three men were charged with attempted murder and possession of a firearm, following the shooting of a man in north Belfast earlier this week.
A number of searches were also carried out in north Belfast and north Down following the shooting at Carrs Glen in north Belfast.
The shooting was the latest in a line of attacks among rival UDA factions in north Belfast in recent weeks.
PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton has condemned the shootings and joined politicians for an end to the attacks.
In one incident, a rival faction threw a pipe bomb at John Bunting’s parked up car in north Belfast.
There then followed a spate of arson attacks on homes and cars as tensions mounted.