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30 January 1997 Edition

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Daring attacks in Belfast and Ballynahinch

British soldiers again narrowly escaped death this week in two separate IRA attacks in Ballynahinch Co Down and West Belfast.

In the most recent attack at 6.45pm on Tuesday 28 January a direct hit from a rocket was scored on the driver's side of an armoured personnel carrier (APC) forcing it to slide off the Springfield Road coming to a halt in a side street.

Badly shocked British troops were observed tumbling out with the front of the vehicle badly buckled in the explosion.

IRA Volunteers had earlier taken up position overlooking the ambush scene at the Kashmir Road. As a number of APCs passed their position they held fire until a clear target became available. With two APCs moving up the Springfield Road, heading towards their Fort Whiterock base the Volunteers moved forward and fired two rockets. As the first struck the driver's side the second glanced off its roof, just missing the heads of two British soldiers standing in the rear.

In Ballynahinch an active service unit (ASU) moved in to the rear of the White Horse nightclub and bar last Saturday evening, 25 January. It has long been a popular haunt for British soldiers based in the nearby Ballykinlar base, 10 miles away.

Attaching a high explosive charge to an unmarked Peugeot 309 car used frequently by a number of different soldiers from the Grenadier Guards Regiment the Volunteers withdrew to a position overlooking the scene. As the three soldiers emerged from the nightclub a switch was activated arming the device. As the three approached the car the device detonated throwing the trio to the ground. In their supplied statement the IRA countered claims by the British army press office that no one had been seriously injured.

British soldiers have now been ordered to confine their drinking to within their heavily fortified encampments.


An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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