'UVF' Weapons Cache Seized In Ballysillan

An investigation into a 'sudden death' in north Belfast has uncovered more than expected.

More than 70 firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition have been recovered from a house in a loyalist area of Belfast.

Police made the discovery after the death of a man in Belfast's Ballysillan area at the weekend. A search of his house uncovered the weapons.

A spokeswoman for the PSNI said: "Police have uncovered a substantial amount of guns from a house in north Belfast.

"The discovery was made as part of an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a man in the north of the city at the weekend.

"During follow up searches of the man's house more than 70 suspected firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition were discovered. They have all now been removed for examination."

Police said a further number of firearms - believed to be a further 10 - were also seized from a lock-up in the Belfast area.
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The man's death is not thought to be suspicious and police are continuing with their investigation.

Reports this morning suggest the weapons are from a UVF cache although the BBC Northern Ireland Security Correspondent, Vincent Kearney, has said that UVF sources could "not confirm the weapons belonged to the organisation".

However, Billy Hutchinson, a member of the PUP who has represented the UVF at meetings aimed at decommissioning weapons, has said he hoped to make "a full statement, later".

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin Junior Minister and MLA for North Belfast has welcomed the find.

"Sinn Fein welcomes the finding of this huge amount of guns and ammunition. These guns, which belonged to an organisation that was responsible for countless sectarian killings in north Belfast and further afield, have now been taken of the streets.

"The obvious question that nationalists across north Belfast will be asking what the UVF were doing with guns and a large amount of ammunition in the city anyway, 14 years after the UVF declared a ceasefire?"


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