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IRA Admits Manchester Bombing

June 20, 1996| Times Wire Services

DUBLIN, Ireland — The Irish Republican Army on Wednesday claimed responsibility for last week's bombing in Manchester, England, which injured more than 200 people.

In a statement issued in Dublin, the Irish capital, the IRA said it "sincerely regretted" injuries to civilians.

The truck bomb exploded Saturday at a shopping mall in the center of Manchester while police were clearing the area following phone warnings.

Citing a lack of progress in the Northern Ireland peace process, the IRA broke a 17-month cease-fire with a huge explosion Feb. 9 in London.

Sinn Fein, the IRA's political arm, has been locked out of peace talks that began June 10, with Britain and Ireland insisting that a new IRA cease-fire come first.

The talks are stalled over some pro-British Protestants' refusal to accept George Mitchell, a former U.S. senator from Maine, as chairman of the peace conference. Negotiators haggled Wednesday over the chairmanship's job description, with hard-line Protestants seeking to strip power from the post to prevent Mitchell from bringing Sinn Fein into the talks.

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