During the wave of violence that swept Northern Ireland on Friday (29 September), two people died and at lest seven were injured as British troops clashed with Irish Republican Army gunmen in a six-hour battle in the Roman Catholic Falls Road area of the capital, Belfast.
SV & CU Vehicle burning in street
GV Shop-front PAN TO roof
SCU Bullet holes in wall
SCU Blood-stained wall
SV ZOOM IN Bus ablaze
CU Slogans on wall
LV Troops and civilians running for cover
SV Woman talks to troops (2 shots)
SV Troops advance and talks cover (2 shots)
SV Civilians through streets
REPORTER: "....has been one of the most violent days in the Falls for some time, and the small streets bore the customary signs of may hours of fierce battle. The emotional temperature of the whole district was high, because of the funeral of the Catholic killed in a bomb explosion earlier in the week. A gunman was spatted on the roof of a house by an army observation post. He was killed, and his dead body lay in view for twenty minutes, raising local feeling even higher. It was probably this single incident that led to the gun-battle behind this building, during the rest of the day. So by four o'clock a soldier was dead; a sniper was dead; and a woman badly injured. Suddenly the battle broke out again, all around us. Gunfire is so common on the Falls Road that some people disregarded the battle almost to the point of recklessness. The troops advanced carefully towards hidden I.R.A. positions, and in this later engagement, lasting over two hours, no further casualties were sustained. The silences while waiting for the next bit of gunfire was always series and tense. The army are claiming at least five hit. Tonight more vehicles were hijacked and some sporadic gunfire continued."
Violence swept through Northern Ireland on Friday, and one of the areas worst hit was the Roman Catholic Falls Road district of the capital, Belfast. There, troops and Irish Republican Army gunmen fought a six-hour pitched battle in which vehicles were set alight and shops damaged. Two people died--a gunman and a soldier--and at least seven people were injured.
Before the battle began, local people were reportedly in a tense and bitter mood after the funeral that day of a Catholic killed in a tomb explosion earlier in the week. Later, soldiers spotted a gunman on the roof of a building, and shot him dead. His body lay in the street for some twenty minutes, and this incident was said to have triggered off the violent battle that followed.
The battle was one of the most serious for some time. One soldier died, and among the injured were six gunman and a woman civilian, who was seriously hurt.
While the battle continued sporadically through the afternoon and evening, elsewhere in Belfast fifteen people were injured when a bomb was thrown into a Catholic bar, Shooting was reported throughout the city, mainly with snipers firing at police and army patrols. In an armed robbery near seaside town, a milkman was killed by gunman in masks.
During the Falls road engagement, ??? while, some civilians were apparently indifferent to the un-battle raging around them... walking almost casually through the streets as bullets flew around them.
Initials BB/0323 WLW/JB/BB/0351
ORIG ON 12556/72
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: During the wave of violence that swept Northern Ireland on Friday (29 September), two people died and at lest seven were injured as British troops clashed with Irish Republican Army gunmen in a six-hour battle in the Roman Catholic Falls Road area of the capital, Belfast. The fighting, which began in the afternoon and continued sporadically into the severing, was apparently triggered off after a soldier shot dead a gunman spotted on the roof of a house. The gunman's body was left lying in the street for twenty minutes, and this was reported to have further incensed local feeling, which was already bitter after a funeral of a Catholic killed in a bomb explosion earlier in the week.
This film, telerecorded off a British Broadcasting Corporation transmission, contains a voice-on-film commentary in English, over natural sound, by BBC reporter Don Anderson. A transcript of his commentary is included below, and an ALTERNATIVE Written commentary appears overpage.