A weekend backlash of violence in Northern Ireland followed the shooting of a Protestant man by soldiers on Friday night (December 28).
A weekend backlash of violence in Northern Ireland followed the shooting of a Protestant man by soldiers on Friday night (December 28). Centre of the latest trouble has been the Protestant Shankill Road, Belfast.
During the ugly confrontation between drinkers at a Shankill bar and soldiers on Friday, one man tried to seize a rifle and troops said they shot him dead in self-defence. Local residents, however, have been claiming that the shooting resulted from a bar room brawl.
As a result, troops came under fire several times. And on Saturday night, a police Landrover answering a call to an armed robbery was raked with automatic fire and a policeman killed.
Later still, trucks and buses were used to barricade streets in defiance of the army. British Broadcasting Corporation coverage carries a commentary, transcribed below, by reporter Simon Dring. An alternative is supplied overpage.
SYNOPSIS: The Protestant Shankill Road in Belfast again exploded into violence at the weekend. The trouble started when soldiers shot dead a Protestant drinker at this bar.
Retaliation was immediate. A policeman died in this landrover after it had been raked with automatic gunfire.
A crowd of youths rampaged through a Catholic-owned dairy, smashing the windscreens of lorries. Outside, a police patrol came under fire.
A bus depot in nearby Lisburn was another target. Incendiary devices had apparently been hidden in the bus seats. But police managed to drive several buses to safety. A petrol station was also attacked and burned out. Meantime, police resources were stretched by a big manhunt for missing German industrialist Thomas Niedermayer, kidnapped from his home near Belfast.
Several Belfast army positions came under fire. Army barracks were also attacked. It all added up to Northern Ireland's worst weekend of violence for some time.