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14.03.2019 14:35 News >> 1 Former Soldier Charged Over Bloody Sunday Killings

1 Former Soldier Charged Over Bloody Sunday Killings

Northern Ireland prosecutors say not enough evidence to charge 17 other former British paratroopers.

Northern Ireland prosecutors have charged one of 18 former British paratroopers involved in the 1972 Bloody Sunday killings in Londonderry with murder and attempted murder on Thursday.

The announcement came 47 years after the incident took place on Jan. 30, 1972 when a Britain's elite Parachute Regiment opened fire on a civil rights movement march in the Northern Irish city.

Prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to bring charges against the remaining 17 former paratroopers.

The city of Londonderry - known as Derry by its Catholic residents - was the scene of the infamous massacre when soldiers shot 27 unarmed people in a civil rights protest. Thirteen victims died on the day and a fourteenth one later died a few months after.

The killings hastened Northern Ireland's descent into conflict between the British government and pro-British paramilitaries on one side and Irish republicans and nationalists on the other.

Anger over Bloody Sunday went worldwide as it was recorded by TV crews and it generated a wave of new recruits for a resurgent Irish Republican Army (IRA).

The U.K. government initially claimed the soldiers were responding to gunfire from nearby buildings -- a finding that was supported by an early investigation called the Widgery Report.

However, after years of pressure from the victims' families, the 12-year Bloody Sunday Inquiry, also known as the Saville Inquiry, later found that the victims had not posed a threat to the soldiers.

In June 2010, then Prime Minister David Cameron issued an official apology for the killings on behalf of his government, confirming that those shot dead were innocent victims.

The peace deal -- dubbed the Good Friday agreement -- largely saw the end of Troubles-era violence in which more than 3,500 people lost their lives. -



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