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Renewed tension in Northern Ireland

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[big]Tension in Northern Ireland intensifies after policeman shot dead[/big]

[smaller]Lee Glendinning

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 10 March 2009 09.03 GMT[/smaller]


A police officer has been shot dead in Northern Ireland as the terror campaign by dissident republicans intensifies. The murdered officer was part of a patrol that had been called out to the Drumbeg estate after reports of suspicious activity in the area.

His murder is the second attack in Northern Ireland in the last three days.

When asked if the Massereene barracks murders in Antrim were linked to last night's killing, the Police Service of Northern Ireland chief constable, Sir Hugh Orde, said: "I think you are giving [the attackers] credit they ill deserve. I think these are disparate groups, badly infiltrated and indeed many awaiting trial north and south of the border.

"It just reminds us that a small group of people determined to wreck what is huge political progress are becoming more dangerous. We are mindful of that and will do our best in every way to bring these people to justice."

Guardian: Ulster violence escalates as policeman is shot dead


With many of today's papers put to bed before the latest murder in Northern Ireland, the first editions focus on the deaths of soldiers Mark Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham, and Cengiz "Pat" Azimkar, 21, from Wood Green in north London.

"One guard, one pistol … three killers, 60 rounds", the Times says on its front page in a piece which examines shortcomings in basic security at the army barracks in Northern Ireland where the soldiers were killed and in an inside piece, it looks at the return of the residents of Northern Ireland to days of turmoil.

"As the people of Northern Ireland rose from their beds yesterday to the news that Gordon Brown was heading their way, it was beginning to dawn on them that, for all the political change of the past decade, they could easily be back in the grim days of the Troubles,'' David Sharrock, the Ireland correspondent for the Times, writes today.

"For here, on the radio, on the front pages and on the television, was the familiar litany of pain, anger and grief which for so long provided the background hum to life. 'Executed by IRA cowards' said one headline. 'Return of the assassins' ran another."

In Britain, many of the front pages today use a large picture of Mark Quinsey in uniform, sat in between his mother and sister, taken in 2005.

The Guardian also carries a piece on the reaction from teenagers in Ireland to the shootings, some voicing enthusiasm.

"People think it's a great thing,'' one said. " There's a lot of support for the organisations because of what's happened. These shooting will attract more people in. It shows what they can do."

However, considering all the reaction, over on the Guardian's comment pages, Jonathan Powell urges our response to be circumspect. (This piece, was, of course written before the police officer was killed overnight).

" ...the heartless murders have no political significance and do not mark the "rebirth of the Troubles" as some newspaper headlines would have it,'' he wrote of the death of the soldiers. "My worry remains, however, that our reaction might make the deaths a turning point they do not need to be."


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And the one thing that we know about that place is that it was due to close in 2010. They only had to wait a few months, and the occupying forces and their counter-revolutionary fast-food accomplices would have been gone. The hate object would have been removed.


Back in school I once did a speech about why a terrorist organisation (in that case the Hamas) would use suicide attacks as a means of fight. While it's clearly not the same here, the reasons are actually very similar. As the article 100 percent correctly states: the terrorists don't want to change the political status quo, in reality I would guess they would be terribly lost without knowing what to do if they suddenly "won" - and they very probably would just go and look for a new enemy they can fight.

"Terrorists" comes from "Terror" and that's their only goal; they want their enemy (government) to live in fear, and they want the populace to live in fear. :P

Very good article. :thumbsup:

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Their timing is quite a telling clue too -- for years the Irish economy has been stable, and things were quite peaceful. If their only goal was a united Ireland, then surely they could've picked a better time to start fighting for it again - the Republic is struggling so much right now that Northern Ireland is better off being part of the UK :P

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