27/11/2008

Shoukri Buried Despite Bomb Hoax

The funeral of north Belfast loyalist Ihab Shoukri was delayed earlier today because of security alerts.

The PSNI said this afternoon that both the security scares, one near where the 34-year-old was later buried at Carnmoney Cemetery, and another close to the funeral church, were both hoaxes.

Army Technical Officers (ATO) were called in to examine a suspicious object found outside Shoukri's girlfriend's home in the Rathcoole estate just hours before the funeral was due to take place on Thursday morning.

A police spokesman later confirmed that the device was "a deliberate hoax."
News Image
ATO were then tasked to examine a second suspicious object discovered near Holy Trinity Parish Church, Ballysillan Road where Shoukri's funeral service later took place.

Around 300 mourners attended the funeral, including Ihab's brothers Andre and Yuk. Andre, who is serving a nine-year prison sentence, and who was granted a day's compassionate leave from Maghabbery jail.

Ihab Shoukri died on Saturday night from a suspected drugs overdose.

However, the family of Mr Shoukri has today denied claims that he spent the hours before his death last weekend taking drugs and drinking alcohol.

In an exclusive interview with the Belfast Telegraph - published today - his mother, brother and fiancée said he played football on Saturday afternoon and then spent the rest of the day at home until he was found dead on Sunday morning.

(BMcC/KMcA)

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