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World Briefing / Northern Ireland

Police say evidence ties republican to shootings

March 28, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Police have strong forensic evidence linking a prominent Irish republican to the shootings of two British soldiers by dissident groups this month, a senior detective testified in court.

Suspect Colin Duffy, 41, offered no plea to two criminal counts of murder and five of attempted murder during his high-security appearance at the court in Larne, an overwhelmingly Protestant town 22 miles north of Belfast.

Dozens of relatives and friends from Duffy's Irish Catholic power base of Lurgan cheered and applauded as he was led from the courtroom -- handcuffed to a policeman and surrounded by half a dozen other armed officers in flak jackets.

Duffy was the first person charged in the March 7 attack on off-duty soldiers collecting pizzas from delivery men outside their base. Two soldiers died and four people were injured.

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