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Expel Sinn Fein from talks, Britain says

Britain Monday called for Sinn Fein to be expelled from Northern Ireland peace talks because of two killings linked to the party's allies in the Irish Republican Army.

Police have accused the IRA of violating its 7-month-old cease-fire - the key condition for Sinn Fein's participation in negotiations on Northern Ireland's future - by killing a drug dealer and Protestant militant last week.Earlier Friday, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams angrily predicted Britain would force his party out of the talks.

"Can the cause of peace be helped by us being dumped out of here tomorrow?" Adams asked as his delegation arrived at Dublin Castle, the center of British rule in Ireland before the predominantly Roman Catholic south won independence in 1922.

The Northern Ireland peace talks will be held here for three days this week.

"Why should anyone want to bring pressure upon the IRA to end killings when the IRA itself has said very publicly that their cease-fire is intact?" he asked. If Sinn Fein is expelled, he warned, "we may not come back."

The talks are supposed to conclude by May. The goal is to find a way to govern Northern Ireland that is acceptable to both its pro-British Protestant majority and Catholic minority.

Last month, the British and Irish governments, which cosponsor the talks, expelled representatives of the north's main pro-British Protestant paramilitary group, the Ulster Defense Association, because it had admitted killing Catholic civilians.