Another gun battle in Northern Ireland. It happened in Belfast today (Tuesday) as firemen, soldiers?
Another gun battle in Northern Ireland. It happened in Belfast today (Tuesday) as firemen, soldiers and police tackled a blaze in a paint shop near the city's market area. A decoy bomb was used to lure in the soldiers. Shots rang out from at least three snipers as they arrived. There were no casualties.
But four of the firemen were later injured by exploding paint canisters. A B.B.C. camera team were in the thick of the trouble, and came back with this dramatic coverage. The B.B.C. commentary, over natural sound of the gunfire and paint shop explosions, is transcribed overleaf.
SYNOPSIS: Another gun battle in Northern Ireland. It happened when firemen, tackling a blaze at a paint shop in Belfast's market district, discovered a package thought to be a bomb. Shooting started as soldiers arrived:
Firemen had the blaze almost in hand when the bomblike object was found. Shots rang out as the bomb squad moved in. More troops came in to seal off the area, and to return the fire of what was thought to be three gunmen, sheltering in the market place. One passer-by was caught in the crossfire. The Army reckoned the shots came from pistols and an automatic weapon. The bomb squad ordered the firemen away from the paint store and stared to deal with the bomb.
Houses along the whole length of Hamilton Street were cleared, and everyone was told to move out.
The Army bomb experts meanwhile put a noose round the bomb to pull it away from the building. They had to find out whether it had an anti-handling device. Then they blew it up themselves. It contained in fact nothing more lethal than a few handfuls of sand. But from the terrorists viewpoint it had already served its purpose. It brought the army into sniping range and delayed the firemen getting to the scene o the blaze. And then the paint blew up. The blast injured four of the firemen. They were all taken to hospital where it was officially stated that their injuries were not too serious.