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SF anger at British Army South Armagh murder attempt

26 June, 2005

Crossmaglen Sinn Féin Councillor Terry Hearty said that it is only a matter of time before the British Army murder someone at a checkpoint in the area. Cllr. Hearty's comments come after the British Army opened fire on a car in the area on Friday night, alleging that it drove through a checkpoint, a claim which many local people are dismissing.

Cllr. Hearty said:

"Since the arrival of the paratroop regiment in the Crossmaglen area there has been a marked increase in checkpoints, patrols and harassment of local nationalists and particularly young people. I am convinced that they are trying to provoke confrontation with local people in order to destabilise further the already difficult political situation.

"People in Crossmaglen are hugely sceptical of the claims that a car drove through a checkpoint in the town on Friday night. In the recent past we have documented cases of people being waved through these checkpoints only for British soldiers to take pot shots at them as they moved away.

"This sort of wild west approach to policing by the PSNI and British Army in South Armagh is unacceptable. This regiment should not be in South Armagh and it should not be in Ireland. I am calling for the British Army to be removed from this area immediately before they fatally injure a local resident through their trigger happy approach.

"My colleague Conor Murphy MP will be raising this latest incident with the British government and we will continue to demand the end of the British militarised zone in South Armagh." ENDS

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