5 March 1998 Edition

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Family's anger at Bell campaign

By Mick Naughton.

The uncle of 18 year old nationalist Peter McBride, shot dead by two British soldiers from the Scots Guards regiment has slammed another push to free his nephews' killers as, ``2,000 slaps in the face for our family.''

Billy McBride hit out after it emerged that former BBC reporter and now independent MP Martin Bell had launched a letter-writing campaign to mark the two soldiers' 2,000th day in prison. Bell said he will send 2,000 letters to ``influential people'' who may assist the British military establishment in attempting to get the pair out of Maghaberry jail.

Guardsmen James Fisher and Mark Wright shot the New Lodge Road teenager in the back after `P' Checking and body searching him on 4 September 1992. Last weekend a rally in support of the soldiers was held in Perth with a bagpipe tune titled `Freedom' played in their honour.

Bell took an active interest in the campaign at the end of last year and believes the pair should be freed immediately. It was only three years ago last week the soldiers were jailed for life.

Peter McBride's mother, Jean, said these latest attempts to free her son's killers had caused great anguish in her family.

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