21 September 2000 Edition

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Masked gunmen spotted in Twinbrook

Two masked men spotted near a bar in Twinbrook, West Belfast may have been British soldiers involved in an undercover operation.

The pair were spotted last Thursday morning 14 September at 1am by a local man who was leaving Beckett's bar on the Stewartstown Road.

The man, who spoke to An Phoblacht, said that he noticed the pair as they emerged from an alleyway at the back of the premises. ``They were dressed in dark clothing and were wearing masks. One of the men was carrying a handgun which I definitely saw and I think the other who had one of his hands by his side was also carrying a gun.''

According to the man, the two men walked from the alleyway, which is overgrown with bushes, and when they realised they were spotted ``calmly walked away.

``They crossed the road and climbed a fence into the Twinbrook estate and disappeared.''

Commenting on the incident, Sinn Féin's Sue Ramsey said: ``This bears all the hallmarks of an undercover British military operation. It shows that there are still those within the British military establishment who are on a war footing.''

Ramsey urged people in the area to be on their guard.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1