Belfast Telegraph

Man shot dead in republican East Belfast

A man has been shot dead in a republican area of Belfast.

Police said the victim was gunned down in Short Strand, in the east of the city, at around 9pm.

It is understood detectives are examining whether the shooting was linked to the murder of former IRA leader Jock Davidson in the nearby Markets, another republican area, three months ago.

Sinn Fein councillor Niall O Donnghaile said the man was shot close to his home.

"This action has shocked the local community and my thoughts are with the family of the victim," he said.

"There can be no place for actions like this in our society.

"The community here rejects any attempt by any armed group to turn the clock back to the past."

East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson tweeted: "There can be no justification for the murder in Short Strand tonight. No one has the right to take the law into their own hands."

SDLP MP for south Belfast Alasdair McDonnell said: "This was a brutal and terrible crime in Belfast and I utterly condemn those behind it.

"The perpetrator must be held to account for bringing this level of inhumanity and savagery back to our streets."

The victim was named locally as Kevin McGuigan, a former IRA prisoner, who was in his early 50s and married with children. He was pronounced dead in the city's Royal Victoria hospital.

It is understood Mr McGuigan was injured in a paramilitary punishment style attack a number of years ago.

A significant police presence remained in the Short Strand in the wake of the shooting.

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