- Northern Ireland - UK
AFP - Three men were arrested Saturday over the killing of two British soldiers in Northern Ireland which has triggered fears of a return to the sectarian violence of past, police said.
The men, aged 21, 32 and 41, were being questioned by police over the shooting of the soldiers at Massereene Barracks in Antrim, northwest of Belfast, last Saturday.
The arrests were made in the the Lurgan area southwest of Belfast and Bellaghy, northwest of the provincial capital.
The Real IRA, a dissident republican group, claimed responsibility for the attack which killed sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, and Cengiz "Patrick" Azimkar, 21, in the first such killings for over a decade.
Three men were already being questioned over the killing of a policeman in Northern Ireland on Monday, an attack claimed by another republican splinter group, the Continuity IRA.
The three killings triggered fears of a return to violence a decade after peace accords ended the so-called Troubles that scarred Northern Ireland for 30 years, leaving over 3,500 people dead.
Pro-London Protestant unionists and Catholic Republicans -- who want Northern Ireland united with the neighbouring Republic of Ireland -- struck a landmark deal in 2007 to share power in Belfast.
The Continuity IRA and the Real IRA are both splinter groups of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which was the military wing of Catholic socialists Sinn Fein, now sharing power with the Democratic Unionists.
The Real IRA was behind Northern Ireland's most deadly attack, the 1998 Omagh bombing which killed 29 people.
A memorial service for the two British soldiers -- who were killed just hours before they were due to leave for service in Afghanistan -- was held on Thursday, while the policeman Stephen Carroll was buried on Friday.
Leaders in Britain and Ireland, which have mediated the peace process over the last decade or more, have vowed that the killings will not derail Northern Ireland's movement back towards normality.
On Wednesday thousands of people joined peace vigils in Belfast and other cities across the province to denounce the killings.
British premier Gordon Brown said Friday that Northern Ireland was currently seeing a degree of unity against the attacks "that some people thought they would never see in their lifetime".
Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and his Sinn Fein deputy Martin McGuinness delayed an investment-boosting trip to the United States after the killings.
They left two days later than planned, and after meetings in Los Angeles are due in Washington this week, including talks with President Barack Obama in the White House on Tuesday, St. Patrick's Day.