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Murders of Edward Burns and Joseph Jones

12 Mar 2007

Police have begun a murder enquiry following the deaths of two men, whose bodies were found in Belfast on March 12 2007.

Edward Burns (36), from Ardoyne in Belfast, County Antrim, was found shot dead at Bog Meadows in West Belfast in the early hours of that morning. Joseph Jones (38) from Poleglass on the outskirts of Belfast, was found later with severe head injuries in an alleyway off Elmfield Street in North Belfast.

Detectives believe that the two murders are linked and were carried out against a background of tensions within dissident republicanism.

Police say they have received a predominantly positive response from local communities during their investigations. This has resulted in the recovery of four firearms and a significant number of other items that are now the subject of forensic examination. One man appeared in court in connection with the murders, charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

Officers from the PSNI Crime Operations Major Investigation Team are trying to trace the movements of a blue Ford Focus estate car, registration number FE 52 SHJ, between teatime on Sunday March 12 and teatime on Wednesday March 14 in or around North and West Belfast. They are particularly keen to hear from anyone who saw the car between midnight on Sunday 11 and 5am on Monday 12 March in Elmfield Street, Ardoyne.

Detectives have also made a more precise appeal about the movements of a silver Skoda Octavia car, registration number PKZ 3760, in North and West Belfast between 3am and 8am on the Monday morning. Police believe this car may have been set on fire at Ballyhill Road in the Ligoniel area and may have been removed by a scrap lorry later on the Monday morning.

Anyone who knows anything about the movements of these vehicles during the specified times is asked to contact police on 101 Non Emergency Number or use the anonymous Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111.