A NEW loyalist terror group has emerged in the North to threaten violence against the IRA.The self-styled Orange Volunteers warned of attacks against republicans freed early from prison as part of the Good Friday agreement. A statement said: ``We are prepared to defend our people and if it comes to the crunch we will assassinate the enemies of Ulster.
``Ordinary Catholics have nothing to fear. But the true enemies will be targeted, and that's a lot wider than just Sinn Fein and the IRA.''
Eight armed masked men staged a show of strength and produced a sawn-off shotgun, handguns, rifles, a submachinegun and grenades. One said: ``This organisation cannot allow republican prisoners to walk free with impunity while wives and families of people have to visit the graves of their loved ones murdered by republican scum. Those prisoners are fair game.''
The man said he did not believe the IRA's war was over it was just part of their long term strategy to get not just the troops out ``but also the British people of Ulster out too. We will not allow that to happen.''
UTV journalist Ivan Little was hooded and taken to an unidentified location to talk with the men. The meeting opened with a reading from the Bible and closed with prayers. The group produced a `covenant' which said: ``We are defenders of the reformed faith. Our members are practising Protestant worshippers.''