Three men – including the leader of the UDA in north Belfast – have been charged with attempted murder and possession of a firearm following a shooting in the city.
The men were detained after a 44-year-old man was shot in the upper thigh in an incident in the Carr's Glen area on Wednesday night. They are due to appear in Belfast Magistrates' Court today.
John 'Bonzo' Boreland (44) had been driving in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast around 10pm with prominent UDA figure Andre Shoukri when a breeze block was thrown at the car. It is understood that Boreland along with Shoukri abandoned the car and fled down an alley while being shot at. Boreland was then hit by a bullet on the leg.
The loyalist was treated at the Mater Hospital before being transferred to the Royal Victoria. His injuries were not believed to be life threatening. UDA 'brigadier' John Bunting (46) and his associate John 'Hoover' Howcroft (47) were later arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with the shooting.
A 31-year-old was then arrested yesterday. Police Chief Constable George Hamilton said the incident came as a result of heightened tensions within loyalism in this part of north Belfast.
On Wednesday afternoon a large number of riot police were at the scene of the shooting while forensic officers examined the area for evidence.
The North Belfast Community Development and Transition Group offices were also searched.