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Fleeing dissidents leave AK in plant pot

By Staff Reporter

Fleeing gunmen left a ‘military grade Kalashnikov’ sticking out of a plant pot on an Ardoyne street last week after firing shots at a passing PSNI patrol.

The armed dissident republican gang are thought to have panicked as they made their escape last Thursday (December 5) along Butler Walk after using a scaffolding platform to shoot over a wall onto the Crumlin Road.

Homes in the area were evacuated for 24 hours as search teams combed the area for clues after the attack.

One eyewitness told the North Belfast News that the gang must have been in a rush as they made only a cursory attempt at trying to hide the weapon.

“They put the gun in the plant pot but it was too long and you could see it sticking out. They didn’t try to hard to hide it. They just stuffed it in.”

It was later recovered by the police. Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr said the attack could have resulted in a loss of life.

“We think there was at least ten strikes on those three vehicles at this stage although that number could change when the vehicles are examined in more detail.

“We’re very fortunate that we’re not dealing with police fatalities.”

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but speculation has pointed the finger at ONH.

The North Belfast News understands a car found burning in the area after the attack – thought to be a getaway car – was stolen from Poleglass where ONH have a presence.

They are also being blamed for a gun attack 24 hours after the Ardoyne attack in West Belfast.  A Land Rover was struck twice by gunshots as it drove along the Suffolk Road.

Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly said the people behind the Ardoyne attack had no support.

“This attack on the PSNI was reckless and has endangered the local community in Ardoyne.

“Anyone could have been in the vicinity of Holy Cross Chapel at this time which was the direction in which the shots were fired.

“Those behind this attack are serving their own narrow agenda and are in no way representative of this community.

“Whoever was behind this attack needs to come forward to this community and explain their actions. To date they have failed to do so and act solely on their own behalf,” he said.

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