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    Northern Ireland fears return of terrorist past as soldiers shot dead

    Two army personnel were shot dead during a drive-by shooting at an army base in Co Antrim last night, raising fears that the grim spectre of terrorism has returned to haunt Northern Ireland.


    Two more military personnel and two pizza delivery men were wounded in what is the first major terrorist attack in the province for over a decade. One of the injured is critical, two are serious and one is serious but stable, police said today, as a major manhunt for the gunmen continued.


    Gordon Brown condemned the "cowardly attack" and vowed it would not affect progress in the region. "No murderer will be able to derail the peace process, that has the support of the vast majority of the people of Northern Ireland. We will step up our efforts to make the peace process one that lasts and endures."


    The shootings occurred at the Massereene army base in Antrim, 16 miles north of Belfast, at 9.40pm last night. Police said the shots were fired as a pizza delivery was being made, but dismissed earlier reports that the gunmen were disguised as the delivery men.


    The investigating officer, Detective Superintendent Derek Williamson, today said the gunmen fired one burst with automatic weapons then walked forward and shot the victims as they lay on the ground. The two soldiers killed were both aged in their early twenties, and were due to fly to Afghanistan on active service in the coming days. The pizza delivery men were also described as young.


    "There is no doubt in my mind that this was an attempt at mass murder. There were two gunmen both with automatic rifles. A third person was present driving a vehicle," Williamson said.


    The attack is the first major incident believed to involve dissident republican terrorism since the Omagh bomb in August 1998. It would also be the first time members of the security forces have been killed by a Republican terrorist organisation since July 1997, when the Provisional IRA killed two members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Lurgan, Co Armagh.


    Police are investigating whether the gunmen had deliberately targeted the pizza men as well as the soldiers. Dominos Pizza in Antrim had received two separate delivery orders from the base at around 9.20pm, Williamson said. The orders were sent out separately and the two delivery men arrived one after the other. It was at this point when gunmen opened fire from a car.


    The area around the barracks was sealed off today as a major security operation continued. Police were understood to be examining a car found abandoned in the nearby town of Randalstown. Officers were trying to establish whether the vehicle was used in the shooting.


    Williamson said: "Last night two very young men lost their lives in a very callous and a very ruthless attack by terrorists who have no thought and had no thought for anyone who was in the vicinity. The attack took place at a time when two other young men, two civilians, who were delivering pizzas to the Massereene barracks stopped, and it is clear from what we know at this stage that the terrorists not only wanted to kill soldiers who were there last night, but also to try to kill those two pizza delivery men."



    If the killings are confirmed as the work of dissident terrorists, it represents a return to the campaign of assassination of soldiers and police officers, that was meant to have ended when the IRA declared its final ceasefire in July 1997.


    The killings come just 48 hours after Northern Ireland's chief constable, Sir Hugh Orde, warned that the dissident terrorist threat was at its highest level since he took over seven years ago. Observers fear it could signal an upsurge in the campaign by splinter IRA groups to destabilise the political settlement that has Sinn F? sharing power with its Unionist enemies.


    Orde also confirmed that undercover British army troops were on paramilitary surveillance duties in Northern Ireland.


    Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but security sources said the incident was undoubtedly the work of dissident organisations opposed to the peace settlement .



    Northern Ireland's first minister and the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, Peter Robinson, said he was postponing a trip to the United States as a result of the shootings. He said they were a "terrible reminder of the events of the past".


    The Northern Ireland secretary, Shaun Woodward, condemned the attack as an "act of criminal barbarism". He said: "My thoughts are with the families of those killed and injured in this murderous attack."


    Ian Paisley Jr, a DUP member for the Northern Ireland assembly, said the shooting could be a defining moment in the history of Northern Ireland. "For the last 10 years people believed things like this happened in foreign countries, places like Basra. Unfortunately, it has returned to our doorstep."]

    Source telegraph.co.uk

    apologies if already posted searched for it

    43 Comments

    Yes, bad taste and bad news. My parents still live in NI and we've all been hoping never to see a serious return to violence. ( I don't think this marks that return btw ). It is unacceptable, irrespective of which 'side' or organisation uses violence for political purposes. I sympathise with the soldier's families and also with the families of those who carried out this atrocity. Terrible.

    I haven't listened to the news today, and reading this depresses me greatly. Having been born in August 1969 I've lived through years of strife and thank God that my kids don't have to face what I did on a daily basis, and I am thankful they have freedoms that were never afforded to me as a child. there does seem to have been a spate of terrorist related incidents of late, but none as serious, or as shocking as this of late.

    The "troubles" have been bubbling under the surface regardless of what the media and politicians say. The IRA (they can call themselves the Real IRA if they like) have been active throughout the last decade. The recent proposed payment to bombers families does not help matters either. There might never be a resurfacing of the bad old days, but who can tell? It only takes a spark to ignite the fire again.

    Predikuesi;4581857

    The "troubles" have been bubbling under the surface regardless of what … The "troubles" have been bubbling under the surface regardless of what the media and politicians say. The IRA (they can call themselves the Real IRA if they like) have been active throughout the last decade. The recent proposed payment to bombers families does not help matters either. There might never be a resurfacing of the bad old days, but who can tell? It only takes a spark to ignite the fire again.



    The RIRA and the IRA (or PIRA) are not the same organisation. There is a huge difference in terms of membership and other criteria. They are a splinter group who have never enjoyed anywhere near the same levels of support or access to weapons etc that the Provos did. Insinuating that they are one and the same isn't correct nor is it helpful
    en.wikipedia.org/wik…IRA

    Original Poster

    Terrorists are scum full stop, be it al qaeda, (P)(R)IRA, UVF, UFF.

    Banned

    Paddy_o_furniture;4582104

    Terrorists are scum full stop, be it al qaeda, (P)(R)IRA, UVF, UFF.



    Agree.

    Liddle ol' me;4581985

    The RIRA and the IRA (or PIRA) are not the same organisation. There is a … The RIRA and the IRA (or PIRA) are not the same organisation. There is a huge difference in terms of membership and other criteria. They are a splinter group who have never enjoyed anywhere near the same levels of support or access to weapons etc that the Provos did. Insinuating that they are one and the same isn't correct nor is it helpfulhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_IRA



    Not exactly true. Many of the Ex-IRA terrorist joined the so-called Real IRA. Dogs come in various shapes, sizes and breeds, but they are still dogs.

    BTW. I have family and friends on both side of the border. People in Eire know exactly who the IRA / RIRA are - no deslusions there.

    Paddy_o_furniture;4582104

    Terrorists are scum full stop, be it al qaeda, (P)(R)IRA, UVF, UFF.



    Well you should be careful throwing words like 'scum' around. It denotes the mindset of being unwilling or unable to understand the nuances of a situation. And you also have to be careful using the word 'terrorist' as a catch-all for groups using violence as a political weapon. To many people in the world, the US and UK governments could also be labelled terrorist by applying the same criteria.

    And again, it isn't useful or constructive to think in such stark terms. If we all did, then there wouldn't have been the basic settlement of disagreements that we already have in NI. For example, members of the IRA council and the UVF leadership now hold ministerial and other high-ranking positions in the Northern Ireland assembly (e.g. Martin McGuinness). Regardless of what you think of that situation, it was perhaps a necessary step to resolving a long-standing and complicated political stalemate.

    Another famous 'terrorist', Nelson Mandela, is now recognised as one of the greatest living members of his generation. I'm not comparing those people in any way, but the point remains - simple mindsets do nothing to diffuse volatile political situations.

    Predikuesi;4582133

    Not exactly true. Many of the Ex-IRA terrorist joined the so-called Real … Not exactly true. Many of the Ex-IRA terrorist joined the so-called Real IRA. Dogs come in various shapes, sizes and breeds, but they are still dogs.BTW. I have family and friends on both side of the border. People in Eire know exactly who the IRA / RIRA are - no deslusions there.



    ... and here is another example of that mindset. What have dogs got to do with this? :? This is the type of language that fuels rather than attempts to understand and dissolve differences.

    anyway, I'm out of here. I can see where this is leading and I don't want to spoil a peaceful day. Condolences to all families involved again.

    Banned

    If someone plants a bomb with the aim of killing innocent civillians, they are scum. If people in these organisations are uncomfortable with these actions and wish to distance themselves from such attrocities, they should chose their friends more wisely.

    Liddle ol' me;4582282

    ... and here is another example of that mindset. What have dogs got to do … ... and here is another example of that mindset. What have dogs got to do with this? :? This is the type of language that fuels rather than attempts to understand and dissolve differences.anyway, I'm out of here. I can see where this is leading and I don't want to spoil a peaceful day. Condolences to all families involved again.



    Tut tut! You know exactly what I mean.

    Original Poster

    Liddle ol' me;4582226

    Well you should be careful throwing words like 'scum' around. It denotes … Well you should be careful throwing words like 'scum' around. It denotes the mindset of being unwilling or unable to understand the nuances of a situation. And you also have to be careful using the word 'terrorist' as a catch-all for groups using violence as a political weapon. To many people in the world, the US and UK governments could also be labelled terrorist by applying the same criteria. And again, it isn't useful or constructive to think in such stark terms. If we all did, then there wouldn't have been the basic settlement of disagreements that we already have in NI. For example, members of the IRA council and the UVF leadership now hold ministerial and other high-ranking positions in the Northern Ireland assembly (e.g. Martin McGuinness). Regardless of what you think of that situation, it was perhaps a necessary step to resolving a long-standing and complicated political stalemate. Another famous 'terrorist', Nelson Mandela, is now recognised as one of the greatest living members of his generation. I'm not comparing those people in any way, but the point remains - simple mindsets do nothing to diffuse volatile political situations.


    I served 3 years in Northern Ireland, and stand by my views

    guv;4582287

    If someone plants a bomb with the aim of killing innocent civillians, … If someone plants a bomb with the aim of killing innocent civillians, they are scum. If people in these organisations are uncomfortable with these actions and wish to distance themselves from such attrocities, they should chose their friends more wisely.



    Paddy_o_furniture;4582326

    I served 3 years in Northern Ireland, and stand by my views




    It seems everyone knows the score except those who have been brainwashed by the media and spout off rehashed politically correct rubbish.

    This is terrible news for nothern ireland. But why Sir Hugh Orde thought that bringing more military back into northern ireland would cause anything but trouble is a mystery.

    Although as liddle says i dont think it will relight the 'troubles' but it does make things tense

    the soldiers were due to be deployed to Afghanistan, they met their early then.

    supposedly trouble has been brewing for a while. sinn fein have made some interesting comments.

    allstar2;4582457

    This is terrible news for nothern ireland. But why Sir Hugh Orde thought … This is terrible news for nothern ireland. But why Sir Hugh Orde thought that bringing more military back into northern ireland would cause anything but trouble is a mystery.Although as liddle says i dont think it will relight the 'troubles' but it does make things tense


    threre's been a ceasefire for 10 years, the british army has left yet there are still undercover units there. any further attack of this nature will result in the reinstatement of the british on the streets of Ireland. not a very good result, as sinn fein have alluded to.

    Paddy_o_furniture;4582326

    I served 3 years in Northern Ireland, and stand by my views



    Someone who was here as a member of an occupying force will have a skewed view of the situation.

    myaser88;4582737

    threre's been a ceasefire for 10 years, the british army has left yet … threre's been a ceasefire for 10 years, the british army has left yet there are still undercover units there. any further attack of this nature will result in the reinstatement of the british on the streets of Ireland. not a very good result, as sinn fein have alluded to.



    there has never truely been a ceasefire in northern ireland..the balme was just shifted to disident groups..not all the army has left yet though they are on the move out..but until the all go things like this will happen which is a very sad state of affairs

    allstar2;4582457

    This is terrible news for nothern ireland. But why Sir Hugh Orde thought … This is terrible news for nothern ireland. But why Sir Hugh Orde thought that bringing more military back into northern ireland would cause anything but trouble is a mystery.Although as liddle says i dont think it will relight the 'troubles' but it does make things tense



    tessb;4582759

    Someone who was here as a member of an occupying force will have a skewed … Someone who was here as a member of an occupying force will have a skewed view of the situation.



    back again

    Since the three of us have lived our lives (well mine until 18) in Northern Ireland (btw tessb - we share nearly identical biographies), I think we probably have a better understanding than most about this. I do acknowledge that we will of course have some degree of bias in matters close to home -- nobody is free from that -- I think from what I know of the three of us, we are a fairly balanced and objective bunch.

    What is good to see is that the political parties on both 'sides' also remain committed to making sure the bigots don't get hold again. Their responses are very positive and show a real shift from the polar views of the past:

    Paisley Jr's party colleague and Northern Ireland's first minister, Peter Robinson, today postponed a visit to the US alongside McGuinness, his deputy. Condemning the murders and the attempted murders, Robinson said they were a "terrible reminder of the events of the past.

    Signalling the DUP's determination not to let the attack destabilise the province's power-sharing coalition, the first minister added: "These murders were a futile act by those who command no public support and have no prospect of success in their campaign. It will not succeed."

    Speaking at the scene of the murder, Mark Durkan, the leader of the nationalist SDLP, said: "We know [the dissidents] are opposed to peace and we know their capacity to attack, threaten, disrupt and even kill.

    "They need to understand that this is not an attack on the British army but the Irish people who have voted for and value above all else peaceful politics and democratic accommodation."


    guardian.co.uk/uk/…rim

    I have never really understood what is at the basis of the Northern Ireland situation. If it is about reunification of Ireland that does not make sense to me seeing as Eire has decided to become part of Europe. What is behind the need to kill?

    WoolyM;4582884

    I have never really understood what is at the basis of the Northern … I have never really understood what is at the basis of the Northern Ireland situation. If it is about reunification of Ireland that does not make sense to me seeing as Eire has decided to become part of Europe. What is behind the need to kill?



    They both have a different understanding of the same book,( The bible ) and think that only people with the same understanding as them have a right to live on this earth,The exact same thing that breeds terrorism around the world, Fictitious writing from hundreds of years ago,How stupid are people,

    Original Poster

    tessb;4582759

    Someone who was here as a member of an occupying force will have a skewed … Someone who was here as a member of an occupying force will have a skewed view of the situation.


    Occupying force? Since when did the British government require permission to to put soldiers (to assist the local police force) on it's own streets. I got sent to do a job which I done. The original post was about 2 service men being shot by cowardly terrorists, which under any cirmcustance can not being justified in a civilised world

    WoolyM;4582884

    I have never really understood what is at the basis of the Northern … I have never really understood what is at the basis of the Northern Ireland situation. If it is about reunification of Ireland that does not make sense to me seeing as Eire has decided to become part of Europe. What is behind the need to kill?



    It's a bit too complex to explain on a post here, but the most important thing imo is that there is a real and active shift away from support for those who will condone killing for political reasons. Personally, I'd rather concentrate on this than try to explain why anyone is or ever was able to think otherwise.

    Also, there is simply too much context to even hope to explain things in a way that doesn't privilege one community's historical understandings over another's.

    But again, I'm glad to see the relatively measured response from NI politicians, a tone that didn't even seem to be an option when I was growing up there. This is a real and tangible sign of progress imo, and it will take more than a small bunch of murderers with little support from anyone to turn that around. :thumbsup:

    tonyg1962;4582969

    They both have a different understanding of the same book,( The bible ) … They both have a different understanding of the same book,( The bible ) and think that only people with the same understanding as them have a right to live on this earth,The exact same thing that breeds terrorism around the world, Fictitious writing from hundreds of years ago,How stupid are people,



    Well, although I am an atheist with an anti-theist political stance, I'd have to disagree with you here. If only it were that simple. It just so happens that 'Catholic' and 'Protestant' map onto the two major communities in NI. And yes, it also makes them easily identifiable from one another. But this was never an issue of religion per se. It was always about a more obvious form of political power. Google The Plantation of Ulster and you might begin to understand why this convenient mapping is often misunderstood as the root cause. :thumbsup:

    You will rember the old adage "are you a catholic atheist or a protestant atheist " then,I know something of the causes of the troubles but there has to come a time when the past is the past,Remember the Irish prime minister went round and offered his condolences to the German ambassador when Hitler died but you have to put the past behind you,

    By the way ,As a atheist and anti theis have you read "God is not Great" by Peter Hitchens,If anything shows the stupidity of religious conflict this does
    amazon.co.uk/God…861

    tonyg1962;4583431

    You will rember the old adage "are you a catholic atheist or a protestant … You will rember the old adage "are you a catholic atheist or a protestant atheist " then,I know something of the causes of the troubles but there has to come a time when the past is the past,Remember the Irish prime minister went round and offered his condolences to the German ambassador when Hitler died but you have to put the past behind you,



    I dont think Liddle was picking a fight from what I read.

    WoolyM;4583525

    I dont think Liddle was picking a fight from what I read.



    Oh i know i wasnt picking a fight,Simply pointing out that the past should be put behind us,The plantation of Ulster happened 400 years ago and Britain was a far different place then,The incident with the Irish prime minister onlyhappened 50 years ago but we dont think that all Irish are Nazis,If we all held a grudge for so long i would be raving about what cromwell did in this country,

    Banned

    WoolyM;4583525

    I dont think Liddle was picking a fight from what I read.



    Depends what breed of dog you are!:whistling:

    Seems to me there are several here attempting to draw him into a fight. IMO

    Banned

    WoolyM;4583694

    Seems to me there are several here attempting to draw him into a fight. … Seems to me there are several here attempting to draw him into a fight. IMO



    http://ihasahotdog.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/funny-dog-pictures-oh-really.jpg

    WoolyM;4583694

    Seems to me there are several here attempting to draw him into a fight. … Seems to me there are several here attempting to draw him into a fight. IMO



    Draw who into a fight ?

    WoolyM;4583694

    Seems to me there are several here attempting to draw him into a fight. … Seems to me there are several here attempting to draw him into a fight. IMO



    Well, if that is the case, I'm not biting WoolyM. Too much damage already reported in this thread, and my stance on NI politics has always been to remain objective to the best of my ability. Being 'drawn' by others - particularly those with an agenda - is really not something I will allow to happen. I take the same stance with the Israel/Palestine issue. I don't mind pointing to historical facts and discussing the issues in a way that is about trying to learn why things are the way they are. But there is far too much real-life misery involved for me to wave a flag supporting one side or the other. The flag-waving mindset is always part of the problem from what I've seen.

    Something I have been pondering for a while is whether there may be some that want diversions to the economic mess we are in. Could be that there are some that would love problems to re-emerge elsewhere. Might be a 'reason' to keep larger numbers of troops closer to home.
    Only a thought and maybe completely off base........

    I think we are all on the same side here, Our thoughts are with the familis of those who died ,

    tonyg1962;4584137

    I think we are all on the same side here, Our thoughts are with the … I think we are all on the same side here, Our thoughts are with the familis of those who died ,



    Hope so. If those that want to fight were restricted to green custard as a weapon things would be so much easier

    Banned

    WoolyM;4584135

    Something I have been pondering for a while is whether there may be some … Something I have been pondering for a while is whether there may be some that want diversions to the economic mess we are in.Could be that there are some that would love problems to re-emerge elsewhere. Might be a 'reason' to keep larger numbers of troops closer to home. Only a thought and maybe completely off base........



    Not too keen on conspiracy theories, particularly when 2 soldiers lay dead. They may like to bury bad news and alike, but troubles at home like this are definitely not what the government would want.

    WoolyM;4584135

    Something I have been pondering for a while is whether there may be some … Something I have been pondering for a while is whether there may be some that want diversions to the economic mess we are in. Could be that there are some that would love problems to re-emerge elsewhere. Might be a 'reason' to keep larger numbers of troops closer to home. Only a thought and maybe completely off base........



    I dont think there would ever be a case for large numbers of troops on the streets,I think everyone now realises that was a mistake and only inflamed things,You might be right about them trying to exploit the current situation as a weakness but the amount of support they have is tiny and i can quite see people in their own community being disgusted at this and turning them in,

    WoolyM;4584135

    Something I have been pondering for a while is whether there may be some … Something I have been pondering for a while is whether there may be some that want diversions to the economic mess we are in. Could be that there are some that would love problems to re-emerge elsewhere. Might be a 'reason' to keep larger numbers of troops closer to home. Only a thought and maybe completely off base........



    I don't think that is as off-base as some might think. The police here (i.e. GB) have already admitted that they are prepared for a summer of discontent and predict rioting on British streets if the economy continues to affect jobs etc. Whether that has any connection to troop presence in NI I don't know, but it is also fair to say that the issues in Northern Ireland have similarly always been more about economics than anything else. From the time of the plantation to the modern troubles, it was always a fight among opposing sides for economic and political advantage - or at least the right not to be disadvantaged. I hope this kind of incident isn't a sign of things to come either there or here.

    tonyg1962;4584137

    I think we are all on the same side here, Our thoughts are with the … I think we are all on the same side here, Our thoughts are with the familis of those who died ,



    WoolyM;4584165

    Hope so. If those that want to fight were restricted to green custard as … Hope so. If those that want to fight were restricted to green custard as a weapon things would be so much easier



    Agreed on both points :-D

    Original Poster

    RIRA just claimed responsibility according to sky news.
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