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Madeleine Police Probe Five New Assault Cases

Written By andika jamanta on Rabu, 23 April 2014 | 20.48

By Rachel Younger, Sky News Correspondent

British police are looking at five new cases in which young British girls were sexually abused during holiday home break-ins by an intruder in the Algarve.

One of these assaults took place on a 10-year-old girl in Praia da Luz, from where Madeleine McCann vanished two years later.

These new cases are similar to some of the originally identified twelve offences where a male intruder gained access to holiday villas occupied by British families in the Western Algarve.

Scotland Yard recently made an appeal to trace the intruder which lead to 500 people contacting them with new information.

Madeleine crime scene Madeleine disappeared from her bed in Praia da Luz in 2007

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said today: "We have now identified a further five sexual assaults and one near miss. None of those six matters we were aware of prior to our appeal.

"In this new tranche of information we have got one crime which is very clearly in the heart of Praia da Luz in 2005, on a young, white, 10-year-old girl.

"Clearly the fact that we've now got an assault that is in the heart of Praia da Luz, very close to where a previous matter had been reported, means that we are even more interested in this as part of the inquiry."

In four of these incidents the man sexually assaulted five white girls, aged between seven and 10, while they were in their beds.

Although Portuguese police have turned down requests for a joint investigation, British police added they are poised to begin operations in Portugal following an official agreement from Portuguese police later this week.

An artist's impression of a man carrying a child Police are still keen to trace a man seen near Madeleine's appartment

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt said he is "cautiously optimistic" Portuguese and British officers can act soon.

"I am cautiously optimistic that in the not-too-distant future we are going to start to see activity," he said.

Officers have so far identified a series of 18 crimes committed between 2004 and 2010 where a male intruder entered villas occupied by UK families on holiday in the Western Algarve.

Twelve of these are assaults which took place between 2004 and 2010, although the vast majority happened before Madelaine's disappearance. All involved girls aged between 6 and 12 years old.

Police believe the suspect may have been in the villas for some time before being disturbed by parents or a child waking up - and he remained calm even when interrupted.

The noise of a bin collection lorry was heard nearby on two occasions.

The suspect is described as having tanned skin with short, dark, unkempt hair.

Police are still hunting a man seen carrying a girl fitting Madeleine's description on the night of her disappearance.


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Missing Plane: Material Washes Ashore In Oz

Officials searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane say material has washed ashore off the coast of Western Australia.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is now examining photographs of the objects, which have been secured by police in the region, to establish whether they are linked to flight MH370.

Authorities said the images had also been passed to investigators in Malaysia.

A woman prays for passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Kechara retreat centre in Bentong Relatives are urging governments not to give up the search

The development came after Australia pledged to keep searching for the plane despite no sign of wreckage after almost seven weeks.

Bad weather is continuing to hamper the search with aircraft grounded for the second day due to heavy rain, low clouds and rough seas.

An undersea drone is nearing the end of its first full mission and Australian PM Tony Abbott says the search strategy may change if seabed scans taken by the US Navy drone fails to find a trace of MH370, which vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board.

The search area for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on April 17 The deep search covers an area where sonar equipment picked up a signal

"We may well re-think the search but we will not rest until we have done everything we can to solve this mystery," he said.

"The only way we can get to the bottom of this is to keep searching the probable impact zone until we find something or until we have searched it as thoroughly as human ingenuity allows at this time."

The Bluefin-21 drone is a key component in the search after the detection of audio signals, or "pings", believed to be from the plane's black box flight .

Missing Malaysia plane news conference Relatives are asking Mr Hussein to investigate old media reports

The search co-ordination centre said the robotic submarine had so far covered more than 80% of the 120 square mile (310 square kilometres) seabed search zone off the Australian west coast, creating a three-dimensional sonar map of the ocean floor, but failing to find anything of interest.

The 2.8 mile (4.5-kilometre) deep search area is a circle 12 miles (20 km) wide around an area where sonar equipment picked up a signal on April 8 consistent with a plane's black boxes. The batteries powering those signals are now dead.

Both Australia and Malaysia are under growing pressure to show what lengths they are prepared to go to in order to give closure to the grieving families of those on board.

In a sign of the families' growing desperation for answers, a group purporting to be relatives of the missing flight's passengers wrote a letter to Malaysian defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein, urging the government to investigate old media reports that the plane landed in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

"It is high time that the government should start thinking out of the box by exploring and re-examining all leads, new and old," said the letter, published on Facebook on Wednesday.


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Murder Probe As 'Disabled' Children Found Dead

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder after three young children were found dead at a house in southwest London.

Officers discovered the bodies when they were called to a large, semi-detached home in Thetford Road, New Malden, at around 9.30pm on Tuesday.

Sky sources say the three children - a four-year-old girl and two three-year-old boys - were disabled and had "life-limiting genetic conditions".

The 42-year-old woman arrested was taken to hospital with minor injuries and later discharged. She is in custody at a south London police station.

New Malden deaths Gary Clarence and his sons, and their Victorian house in Thetford Road

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident."

Sky's Joe Tidy, at the scene, said a South African couple - named locally as Gary and Tania Clarence - moved into the house with their four children around six months ago.

They moved in after the £1.2m property was redeveloped with mobility equipment, including a lift.

Mr Clarence, a director at Investec Bank, and his eldest child are abroad, and are travelling back today.

His company said in a statement: "Gary Clarence is a valued colleague and has worked with us for many years.

"We do not know the facts at this time but our thoughts are with the Clarence family.  We are doing all that we can to help Gary and his eldest child and ask that their privacy is respected."

Flowers at the sceneFlowers at the scene Flowers and toys have been left outside the house

Officers removed evidence bags from the property this morning. It is unclear whether the children's bodies are still inside the house.

Post-mortem examinations are to take place later.

Neighbour Michele Bacchus, 38, said two "very, very upset" women had asked to use her toilet last night, an hour after four police cars and an ambulance arrived.

The women, one in her 30s and the other in her 50s, said they were relatives of the Clarence family and had come from Cobham, Surrey.

One had a South African accent and the other was too upset to speak, she said.

New Malden map Police are investigating the incident in New Malden

Another neighbour, retired nurse Joy Devis, 86, said she had been in the house "once or twice" and described the Clarences as a "delightful couple".

"They'd got every kind of equipment they could possibly get for those children," she told Sky News.

"One I never saw out of a wheelchair; she was in her buggy. The other two were moving about with difficulty."

She said the family had help from a nanny and a maid.


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Moyes Breaks Cover On Manchester United Exit

Former Manchester United boss David Moyes has reacted to his sacking saying he is "proud" to have managed the club but frustrated about his team's lacklustre results.

"To have been appointed as manager of Manchester United, one of the biggest football clubs in the world, was and remains something of which I will always be incredibly proud," said a written statement.

"I remain proud to have led the team to the quarter finals of this year's Champions League," adds Moyes.

But the League Managers Association, which issued the statement on his behalf, said it was "very disappointed" and "sad" about the way Moyes was axed.

The Scot was sacked on Tuesday after a series of defeats left the team with no hope of qualifying for the Champions League next season, and languishing seventh in the Premier League.

Age Is No Concern To Me, Insists 40-Year-Old Giggs Ryan Giggs, 40, is manager until the end of the season

"Performances and results have not been what Manchester United and its fans are used to or expect, and I both understand and share their frustration," says Moyes.

The 50-year-old admits the job was "immense" and a "significant challenge" but that he "never had a second thought about taking (it) on".

His statement also thanks the club's staff, fans and Sir Alex Ferguson but, perhaps tellingly, makes no mention of the players.

Everton v Manchester United - Premier League Moyes' side lost 2-0 at his former club Everton at the weekend

Some of the club's top talent are said to have been unhappy with Moyes during his brief reign at Old Trafford.

The League Managers Association makes no bones about its views on the sacking.

Chief Executive Richard Bevan said: "The LMA is very disappointed with the nature of David's departure from Manchester United and to read extensive reports in the press, confirming David's sacking, before David himself had been spoken to officially by the club.  

He adds: "(Moyes) has conducted himself with integrity and professionalism ... It is therefore sad to see the end of David's tenure at United being handled in an unprofessional manner."

Moyes was handpicked by outgoing boss Sir Alex Ferguson after 11 years at Everton where he guided the team to five top-six finishes.

Carlo Ancelotti Carlo Ancelotti is one of the favourites to take over at Old Trafford

But the burden of expectation seems to have weighed heavy and the team have lost 11 league games this season, six at home, and also endured defeats to bitter rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.

Moyes signed a six-year contract but is now set for a pay-off of around £4m - a year's salary - after less than a year in charge.

United legend Ryan Giggs has taken the reins until for the last few games of the season but Louis van Gaal, manager of the Dutch national side, is the bookies' favourite to land the full-time job.

Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti is also tipped as one of the leading contenders.

Manchester United's American owners, the Glazer family, are thought to be ready to bankroll a summer spending spree of £150m or more as the club pushes for a swift return to the top of the game.


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Cameron-Appointed Quango Chief Resigns

Written By andika jamanta on Minggu, 20 April 2014 | 20.49

By Sophy Ridge, Political Correspondent

A businessman appointed by David Cameron to head a £60bn quango has resigned after it was revealed he was declared bankrupt.

Tony Caplin was in charge of the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) which provides loans to infrastructure projects.

Under anti-sleaze rules, anyone on a public body must inform ministers if they are made bankrupt.

Tony Caplin Tony Caplin was in charge of the PWLB

A Government spokesman said: "Tony Caplin was appointed to a number of public bodies by the Labour party. He was re-appointed to the PWLB by the Prime Minister.

"He should have declared he was bankrupt. This has been pointed out to him and as a result he has resigned."

According to the Mail on Sunday, Mr Caplin was a friend of the Chancellor, George Osborne, who is a former chairman of the same City firm where Mr Cameron's father was a partner.

He previously worked for the Conservatives as their Chief Operating Officer, but Tory sources have emphasised he no longer has a role in the party. He has also left his post on the Medical Research Council.

Chris Leslie MP, Labour's Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, told Sky News: "It is astonishing that the Prime Minister and the Chancellor could appoint someone who went bankrupt owing so much to the Treasury to run the Treasury's lending operations.

"For him to be bankrupted in 2012 and appointed by the Prime Minister as chairman of this key Treasury body the following year is surely a misjudgement too far by a Prime Minister with a track record of poor judgement in relation to his cronies.

"The Prime Minister and the Chancellor need to set out whether they knew about Mr Caplin's bankruptcy and debts to HMRC before making the appointment, whether it was a coincidence that the chairmanship was granted only weeks after Caplin was discharged as a bankrupt, and on which occasions they met with Caplin during the past four years."

The Labour MP and Chairman of the Public Account Committee, Margaret Hodge, told the Mail on Sunday: "This raises serious questions which should be investigated."

Conservative MP Douglas Carswell told the newspaper: "This proves the need for MPs to be given the right to interview public appointments instead of letting ministers hand them out to whoever they choose."


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Bailey's Queen Portrait In 'Instagram Style'

Prince George Goes Walkabout With Bilbies

Updated: 1:06pm UK, Sunday 20 April 2014

Prince George made his first walkabout on the Australian leg of the royal tour when he met some indigenous animals at a zoo.

The youngster looked fascinated as he was shown a bilby - a rabbit-like type of marsupial.

At one point, as he was held by his father Prince William, he held out his hand to attempt to touch the creature which was being fed by a keeper who has named the animal George in his honour.

George, dressed in a blue and white striped collared t-shirt and royal blue shorts, looked a little frustrated and waved his arms as he was unable to reach the animal, which was about a third of his size when standing on its hind legs.

Just before he was brought out for the cameras, the Royal family had been shown round the nocturnal house where several of Australia's animals who are awake during darkness are housed.

Staff said George coped well and was interested in what he saw, reaching out to a feather tailed glider and staring intently at some hopping mice and an echidna.

He was later given a soft bilby toy, which he promptly threw on the floor.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who was wearing a lemon yellow Stella McCartney skater dress, were visiting Taronga Zoo in Sydney where the new bilby enclosure will be named after their son.

The Royal couple went on, without their son, to be shown a few of the zoo koalas.

The zoo keeper who showed them round the enclosure, Paul Davies, said afterwards about George: "He was brilliant. He was regal. It was amazing how he coped with the dark environment of the nocturnal house.

"They seemed comfortable feeding (the bilby). Kate let him get really close. At one point he tried to grab the bilby by the ears.

"He was like any other child. He had a short attention span and wanted to go and look at something else. It was just like meeting any family."

Earlier, thousands of well-wishers turned out to see the Duke and Duchess mark Easter Sunday by attending a traditional church service in Sydney.

The couple arrived at St Andrew's Cathedral in the centre of the city and were greeted - as they have been throughout their tour of Australia - by officials and cheering crowds.

Kate looked elegant in a stylish dove grey Alexander McQueen coat and Jane Taylor hat, while William was in a smart suit.

If a Sunday falls within a Royal tour, visiting members of the monarchy usually attend a church service joining local parishioners.

At the cathedral's steps, the Royal couple were met by the Most Reverend Dr Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney, and the Very Reverend Phillip Jensen, Dean of Sydney, and chatted to the senior clerics before the service began.

The Easter service was private and the large group of media covering the event were not allowed inside.

A bilby is an endangered desert-dwelling marsupial, the name of which comes from an aboriginal language from New South Wales meaning long-nosed rat. There are only about 10,000 left in the wild.


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South Korean Ferry Families Clash With Police

S Korea Ferry: Final Contact From Doomed Vessel

Updated: 11:11am UK, Sunday 20 April 2014

A transcript of communications between the stricken Sewol ferry and the coastguard has lifted the lid on the final minutes before the order was given to abandon ship.

The conversations show panic setting in on board the vessel, with officers asking for help to "please come quickly" as it began to tilt to the left, three hours from its destination of Jeju Island.

The transcript also appears to back up claims that the evacuation order may have come too late for some passengers as officers said the ship was tilting so much it was "impossible to move" to check on them.

The communication, which begins with the first distress call made by the ferry on Wednesday morning, has been translated by The Associated Press.

It reads:

8.55am

Sewol: Harbour affairs Jeju, do you have reception of The Sewol?

Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Centre (VTS): Yes, Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju.

Sewol: Please notify the coastguard. Our ship is in danger. It's listing right now.

8.56am

Jeju VTS: Where's your ship? Yes, got it. We will notify the coastguard.

Sewol: This ship has listed a lot. Can't move. Please come quickly. We're next to Byeongpung Island.

Jeju VTS: Yes, we got it.

8.58am

Jeju VTS: Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju. Do you have reception? Sewol, harbour affairs Jeju.

8.59am

Sewol: Harbour affairs Jeju, this is Sewol.

Jeju VTS: Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju. Channel 21, please.

9.00am

Jeju VTS: Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju.

Sewol: Jeju, Sewol here.

Jeju VTS: What's the current situation?

Sewol: Currently the body of the ship has listed to the left. The containers have listed as well.

Jeju VTS: OK. Any damage of the human life?

Sewol: It's impossible to check right now. The body of the ship has tilted, and it's impossible to move.

Jeju VTS: Yes, OK. Please wear life jackets and prepare as the people might have to abandon ship. 

Sewol: It's hard for people to move.

Jeju VTS: Yes, got it.

9.05am

Sewol: Harbour affairs Jeju, do you have reception of Sewol?

Jeju VTS: Yes, this is harbour affairs Jeju, Sewol.

Sewol: What's going on with the coastguard?

Jeju VTS: Yes, we have notified the coastguard. Currently we are calling Jindo VTS and Wando VTS. Please hold for a moment.

After this, Jeju VTS notified other ships and Wando VTS.

9.24am

Sewol: If this ferry evacuates passengers, will they be rescued right away?

Jeju VTS Even if it's impossible to broadcast, please go out and let the passengers wear life jackets and put on more clothing. The rescue of human lives of Sewol ferry... the captain should make your own decision and evacuate them. We don't know the situation very well. The captain should make the final decision and decide whether you're going to evacuate passengers or not.

Sewol: I'm not talking about that. I asked, if they evacuate now, can they be rescued right away?

Jeju VTS then said patrol boats would arrive in 10 minutes, but did not mention another civilian ship had already arrived near the scene.


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Ukraine: 'Five Killed At Separatist Checkpoint'

A gunbattle at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine has left five dead, it has been claimed.

Russia's state-run Rossiya 24 news station said the five died when gunmen attacked the post near the Ukrainian city of Slavyansk, which is under separatist control.

A separatist interviewed by Reuters at the scene said three of the dead were with the pro-Russian militia. He added that the attack had happened at 2am local time.

"We had three dead, four wounded," a fighter called Vladimir told Reuters at the checkpoint, where there were two burned-out jeeps.

But Sky's Katie Stallard, who has been to the scene, says there are inconsistencies in the separatists' accounts and there is no coherent evidence to back up what they are saying.

Reuters TV footage of the scene showed two bodies, one of whom appeared to have gunshot wounds to the head and face.

Kiev's Interior Ministry said one person had been killed and three injured in an armed clash. It said police were trying to establish more details of what happened.

The separatists claimed the attackers were members of Right Sector, a hard-right fringe group that was part of the anti-Russia movement whose protests in Kiev and western Ukraine forced the former president to leave office. 

Right Sector denied being involved, instead blaming Russian special forces in an illustration of the claim and counter claim that has been rife during the crisis.

Slavyansk A map showing the location of Slavyansk

The event prompted the self-declared leader of the pro-Russian faction in Slavyansk to appeal to Moscow to send in peacekeeping troops.

Ukraine and many in the West fear reports of clashes could provide a pretext for Russia to seize more Ukrainian territory.

Russia's foreign ministry said it was outraged by the shootout, describing it as a "provocation".

Pro-Russia Separatist gunmen maintain a firm grip over a string of towns across eastern Ukraine despite an international deal signed last week demanding they leave state buildings they are occupying.

On Sunday afternoon they declared a curfew in Slavyansk.

Russia, the US, the European Union and Ukraine struck a deal on Thursday aiming at de-escalating the crisis, part of which involves the separatists agreeing to lay down their arms.

Authorities in Kiev, who vowed to remove the separatists, said they have suspended military operations against the rebels until after Easter to give the militia time to comply with the agreement.

The deadline runs out on Monday, after which the US and the EU have said they will consider further sanctions against Russia, which is viewed as having influence over the pro-Russian militia operating in eastern Ukraine.

Earlier, Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of having "a dream to restore the Soviet Union".

Meanwhile, the heads of the Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox churches traded barbs over the crisis in the country as believers flocked to church for Easter services.

More follows...


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South Korea Ferry Disaster Captain's Apology

Written By andika jamanta on Sabtu, 19 April 2014 | 20.48

The captain of a ferry that capsized off the coast of South Korea leaving more than 200 children dead or missing has apologised to the families of the victims.

In a televised address with his head bowed, Lee Joon-Seok said he had delayed the order to abandon the Sewol because he thought the sea was too cold and that the passengers, mostly children, would "drift away".

South Korea's coast guard found another three bodies on Saturday morning, bringing the confirmed death toll to 32. More than 270 passengers in total are still missing.

A member from the South Korean Navy's SSU dives into the sea off Jindo A member from the South Korean Navy's SSU dives into the sea off Jindo

Divers trying to find the missing have seen more bodies inside the submerged vessel but have been unable to reach them. 

The discoveries of the bodies came as it emerged the third mate steering the ferry at the time of the accident was navigating the waters for the first time.

Senior prosecutor Yang Jung-jin told reporters that the officer, a 25-year-old woman, was steering the ship as it passed through an area with lots of islands clustered close together and fast currents.

South Korean diver rests in the water during the rescue operation of the capsized passenger ship "Sewol", in the sea off Jindo Divers say they have seen bodies through the windows of the sunken ship

Mr Yang said that another mate usually took controls through the area but, because heavy fog caused a departure delay, the third mate was steering.

The 69-year-old captain, described as an industry veteran by the ship's owners and an "expert" by others, was arrested on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need.

Investigators are looking into whether Lee's evacuation order came too late to save lives. Two crew members have also been arrested for failing in their duty to assist passengers.

Oh Yong-Seok, a helmsman on the ferry, said when the crew sent a distress call, the ship was already listing more than five degrees.

A family member of a missing passenger who was on the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank at sea cries as she waits for news from a rescue team, at a port in Jindo A family member of a passenger waits for news from rescue teams in Jindo

About half an hour later, Lee finally gave the order for the passengers to abandon ship, according to Mr Oh.

Investigations are also focusing on whether problems with cargo stowage and structural defects of the vessel might have led to the ship capsizing.

Addressing journalists, Lee said: "I am sorry to the people of South Korea for causing a disturbance and I bow my head in apology to the families of the victims.

"I gave instructions regarding the route, then I briefly went to the bedroom and then it happened.

"At the time, the current was very strong, temperature of the ocean water was cold, and I thought that if people left the ferry without (proper) judgement, if they were not wearing a life jacket, and even if they were, they would drift away and face many other difficulties.

"The rescue boats had not arrived yet, nor were there any civilian fishing ships or other boats nearby at that time. There was a mistake on my behalf as well but the steering (gear of the ship) turned further than it was supposed to."

Lee was speaking as divers searching for some 200 missing people say they looked through a window of the ship and saw three bodies inside the sunken vessel but were unable to retrieve them.

No sounds have been heard from the hull which has now disappeared under the water. Rescuers say hopes of finding survivors are fading.

The number of passengers confirmed dead currently stands at 28.

Some 325 passengers were students from Danwon High School near Seoul.

They were on a school trip making a 13-hour journey to the holiday island of Jeju.


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Man Held Over Killing Of Continuity IRA Leader

A 26-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the murder of former dissident republican leader Tommy Crossan.

The 43-year-old was shot dead at a fuel depot in an industrial complex near the Peter Pan centre in West Belfast on Friday - the sixteenth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) tweeted: "Serious Crime Branch detectives investigating the murder of a 43-year-old man in West Belfast yesterday have arrested a 26-year-old man."

Detective Superintendent John Roberts appealed for information about a red BMW spotted near the murder scene.

The scene Politicians have condemned the killing

He said: "It was a brutal and barbaric attack. He sustained several gunshots to the upper body and I'm appealing for any information from anybody who knows who was involved in this terrible murder to contact police."

Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson condemned the shooting.

He said: "The small minority of people who want to continue terrorising the community need to understand that they will not be allowed to drag Northern Ireland back to the dark days of the past.

"They must be hunted down and brought to justice."

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness added: "The people behind this killing are criminals and will further no cause through this shooting.

"Whoever carried out this act has nothing to offer the community and have no role to play in our future."

Mr Crossan was the Continuity IRA's former leader and was believed to have been the subject of a death threat from his former allies.

He had been expelled from the group some years ago and was jailed for conspiracy to murder Royal Ulster Constabulary officers following a shooting at a police station in West Belfast in 1998.

The organisation has opposed the peace process which largely ended three decades of violence and transformed the region.


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