New loyalist terror group issues death threat to PSNI and Parades Commission as 'legitimate targets'
Police are investigating threats
An armed loyalist group have issued death threats to members of the PSNI and the Parades Commission.
Two pictures have been issued to the media showing three masked men in paramilitary style clothing sitting at a table with what appear to be two handguns along with two semi-automatic weapons.
The un-named group released a statement saying after last night's "brutal assault upon the PUL community and the random firing of baton rounds aimed to seriously injure our people we are left with no other option but to announce the PSNI and Parades Commission are legitimate targets."
The group added: "We do not want to take this course of action but our people have suffered enough over the last few years and we as disengaged and disgruntled loyalists feel like the time has come for us to take action. No Surrender. “
Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said the threats were "deplorable".
“We are aware that a very concerning photograph and statement have been circulated to some local media outlets today which we are investigating. Threatening the lives of serving police officers, staff and members of the Parades Commission for simply doing their jobs, is sickening and deplorable," Mr Martin said.
He added: "Threats against police or any other body, have to be completely rejected and condemned by society and I am sure that the vast majority of people will stand with us and roundly denounce these vile threats and the individuals who made them.”
The threats come after violence erupted in north Belfast after the return leg of a Twelfth of July parade was once again restricted from walking along a stretch of the Crumlin Road which separates Unionists and Nationalists.
A number of baton rounds were fired and a water cannon was used to try and control the crowds as violence erupted at the flashpoint.
This is the third year in a row the Parades Commission has refused the Orange Order permission for the return route.
There has been growing unrest towards the Parades Commission in the Unionist community with calls for them to resign.
Loyalists set up a protest camp at Twaddell Avenue in July 2013 after the Parades Commission decision stopped the parade taking place on the stretch of the adjoining Crumlin Road.
Serious violence erupted in the area in 2013 when Orangemen were stopped from marching past Ardoyne while returning from their annual Twelfth of July demonstrations.