Irish Republican News · October 26, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Second incident at border checkpoints

A British soldier manning a border checkpoint was the target of a second alleged ‘hit-and-run’ attack in South Armagh within a week.

The incident came just days after a PSNI police guard was critically injured by a driver through a checkpoint in the same area.

In yesterday’s incident, a speeding car narrowly missed the soldier in Cullyhanna before crossing the border into the 26 Counties.

There has been growing resentment in the area at the continuing heavy presence of British forces despite the ten-year-old ceasefire by the Provisional IRA.

Sinn Féin assembly member Conor Murphy said his party’s views on the British army being on the ground in south Armagh were quite clear.

“But that doesn’t mean that we are asking for people to be knocked down,” he said.

“The best way to resolve these issues is to get policing right so that people feel police are part of the community, not just an alien force there to back up the British army.”

However, the incidents sparked calls amongst unionists for British Crown forces to be allowed to shoot those they believe may be intent on injuring them.

“Clearly something has to be done to protect security force personnel on the ground from attacks of this nature,” Ulster Unionist assembly member Danny Kennedy said.

“The concern I have is that for political expediency there is no proper response in place, and I think the authorities are going to have to allow soldiers and police officers to defend themselves.”

A PSNI man remains critically injured following a separate incident last week.

He was struck as he manned a checkpoint in the nearby border town of Crossmaglen.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News