Gunmen in Belfast today (Monday) shot and killed two plainclothes policemen as they made routine inquiries about a burglary in a shop.
SV & CU Policeman looks at bullet holes in shop window (5 shots)
GV PAN Barricaded police station
SV Policeman wearing flak jacket on point duty
GV & SV Police combatting rioters in New Lodge & Duncairn gardens area (5 shots)
GV & SV Damaged police house (2 shots)
SV Broken glass of damaged house
GV Guards outside police house
SV Policemen wearing flak jackets
SV Armed police on roadside
SV ZOOM BACK TO GV Police leading police funeral procession
SV Hearse followed by mourners
Initials SGM/0333 SGM/0408
TELERECORDING original colour on 13860/71 70ft
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Background: Gunmen in Belfast today (Monday) shot and killed two plainclothes policemen as they made routine inquiries about a burglary in a shop. In another part of the city, police turned out in force to pay respects to a sergeant who died in an ambush four days ago.
The killings, coupled with the recent series of fire-bomb attacks on policemen's homes are evidence of a growing campaign by Irish Republican Army gunmen against the Northern Ireland police. It is two years since the Royal Ulster Constabulary was disarmed and brought more into line with British police standards. Now pressure is growing in Ulster for the police to be given back their weapons and paramilitary status.
SYNOPSIS: Two policemen were shot dead in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Monday in the latest of a rising series of attacks on police by gunmen of the illegal Irish Republican Army. The policemen were making routine inquiries about a burglary at a small shop when they were caught in a hail of bullets from an automatic weapon.
The Royal Ulster Constabulary, the Northern Irish police force, has lost nine men to the terrorists. After 150 attacks on them, police stations are heavily barricaded, but policemen are vulnerable whenever they step outside. These days they wear helmets and flak-jackets even for traffic control duties.
As well as the dangers from bombs and bullets, the police in Northern Ireland face the risk of injury in riot situations like this one which developed in another of Belfast's trouble-spots during the day.
If further evidence were needed of a concerted campaign against the police, it was provided a week ago when several houses belonging to police families were attacked with fire bombs in one day.
It is only two years that the Ulster police were disarmed and brought more into line with civilian standards. Already they're being armed for special duties, and pressure is growing for a return to paramilitary status.
As today's two victims were being shot in the Belfast shop, hundreds of their colleagues were paying their last respects to a police sergeant killed in an ambush four days ago. The two events together underline the increasing problem of police security in the province.