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IRISH CATHOLIC GUNNED DOWN ON DOORSTEP

Protestant gunmen shot and killed a young Catholic on his doorstep Thursday night.

Rose McCartan, who cradled her son Liam in her arms as he lay dying after the attack, condemned the killers as "sectarian scum . . . with so much hatred and badness in them."The Ulster Freedom Fighters, an outlawed Protestant group battling to keep Northern Ireland British, admitted responsibility for the shooting, the 33rd this year in the province's political and sectarian conflict.

McCartan, 31, was the 550th victim of the conflict in North Belfast, known as "murder mile" because the area has been the worst hit by killings since the conflict began in 1969.