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Real IRA ‘claims’ deadly British army attack

Video by Luke BROWN

Latest update : 2009-03-09

A caller claiming to be from the Real IRA told a newspaper the group had carried out a deadly attack against the British Army in Northern Ireland.

AFP - The Real IRA has claimed responsibility for a gun attack in Northern Ireland that left two British soldiers dead, a newspaper reporter said Sunday.
   
Suzanne Breen, a reporter with the Irish Sunday Tribune newspaper, said she received a telephone call from a man who made "no apology" for the attack northwest of Belfast which killed two soldiers Saturday night.
   
The Real IRA, a dissident republican group, was responsible for the massive Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland in 1998 which killed 29 people.
   
"A man who said he was a representative of the South Antrim Brigade of the Real IRA claimed responsibility for the attack," Breen told BBC television.
   
"He said that he made no apology for attacking British soldiers in Massereene army base nor the men who were delivering pizza to them who he called collaborators with the British rule in Ireland.
   
"He said that more details of the attack would be given over the coming days and he used an authorised codeword".
   
The soldiers were killed late Saturday when two gunmen pulled up outside their barracks as a regular pizza delivery arrived and sprayed up to 40 shots in two long bursts of gunfire, police said.
   
The gunmen, armed with automatic weapons, then fled in a car driven by an accomplice, officers added.
   
The shooting at the Royal Engineers' Massereene barracks in County Antrim was the first deadly attack on British troops in Northern Ireland since a soldier was shot dead by a sniper in February 1997.
   
It was also the first such killing since the signing of the Good Friday peace accords in 1998 that signaled the end of three decades of conflict in the province.
   
Leaders across the political and religious spectrum condemned the attack in which four were seriously wounded, while British Prime Minister Gordon Brown vowed Northern Ireland would not be dragged back into sectarian strife.
  

Date created : 2009-03-08

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