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OPPONENT TO N. IRISH PACT CLAIMS WIRETAP BY BRITISH

A top Protestant politician said Saturday he had evidence that his telephone was being tapped by British authorities in a surveillance operation aimed at opponents of Northern Ireland's 1998 peace accord.

Parliamentarian Jeffrey Donaldson said police officers had told him a special intelligence unit based at army headquarters in Lisburn, near Belfast, monitors the telephone calls of up to 30 people, including senior members of his pro-British Ulster Unionist Party.

The Ulster Unionists, the province's largest political party, is deeply divided over its leader David Trimble's support for the Good Friday Agreement.

Donaldson, who leads a strong anti-accord lobby in the Ulster Unionists, accused the British of using the surveillance to try to undermine Protestant opponents of the accord, which was sponsored by the British and Irish governments.

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