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Coalisland death could be linked to attempted murders

By Cate McCurry

Published 17/10/2015

A forensic officer at the scene yesterday
A forensic officer at the scene yesterday

The death of a 32-year-old man whose body was found in a garage in Co Tyrone could be linked to the attempted murder of two men last month, it is understood.

Police were yesterday investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of the man, who is eastern European, found at a property in the Moor Road area of Coalisland just after 1pm on Thursday.

Another eastern European man, thought to be in his late thirties, returned to his Clonabay home in the town on Wednesday, with injuries including a gun shot wound.

Police have confirmed that a possible link between the Coalisland incidents is a line of their enquiry.

Sinn Fein representative for the area, Francie Molloy, believes there is a connection between the victims and those involved in paramilitary-style shootings in Newry last month.

The Lithuanian men were each shot once in the leg in different parts of the city.

One was targeted in a house in Sandys Street, while the other was abducted in Warrenpoint, Co Down and driven around six miles before being shot on the city's Armagh Road.

A 26-year-old man was arrested in Dungannon on suspicion of kidnap, attempted murder and possession of a firearm.

Mr Molloy said there was "great local concern" about the ongoing incidents.

"It's not something that is involving the community directly and no one knows what it's about," he added.

"There are concerns that this is a to-ing and fro-ing from Newry. The main concern is that all this is going on and no one is too clear what it's about and whether it's drugs.

"This is at a time when we are trying to rebuild the area and deal with some issues with the past. The difficulties people would have seen in political situations is now appearing in similar incidents and issues but no political link to it.

"I think the PSNI probably know how bad it is and would be aware of the issues around it but they are alarmed at the fact that this is a second incident involving the Clonabay, Coalisland and the Newry area."

A spokesperson for the PSNI said: "We are awaiting the results of the post mortem and are not in a position to comment further on the circumstances or elaborate on the investigation at this time."

Detective Chief Inspector Lee McNevison, who is leading the enquiry, said: "If anyone saw anything unusual in the Moor Road area in recent days, we would like them to contact detectives."

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