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The Ulster Volunteer Force is a loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland. It was formed in late 1965 or early 1966 and named after the Ulster Volunteer Force of 1913. Its first leader was Gusty Spence, a former British soldier. The group's volunteers undertook an armed campaign of almost thirty years during The Troubles. It declared a ceasefire in 1994, although sporadic attacks continued until it officially ended its armed campaign in May 2007. Noted for secrecy and a policy of limited, selective membership, the UVF's declared goals were to combat Irish republicanism – particularly republican paramilitaries, and to maintain Northern Ireland's status as part of the United Kingdom. The vast majority of its 481 known victims were Catholic civilians. During the conflict, its deadliest attack in Northern Ireland was the 1971 McGurk's Bar bombing, which killed fifteen civilians. Since 1969 the group had also carried out attacks in the Republic of Ireland. The deadliest of these were the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings, which killed 33 civilians, the highest number of deaths in a single day during the conflict. The no-warning car bombings had been carried out by units from the Belfast and Mid-Ulster Brigades. The Mid-Ulster Brigade was also responsible for the 1975 Miami Showband ambush, in which three members of the popular Irish cabaret band The Miami Showband were shot dead at a bogus military checkpoint by gunmen dressed in British Army uniforms. Two UVF men were accidentally blown up in this attack. The UVF's last major attack was the 1994 Loughinisland massacre, in which its members shot dead six Catholic civilians in a rural pub. (via Freebase)