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1 February 2001 Edition

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South Armagh driver feared for his life

The Paras are back in South Armagh and one young man whose life was threatened last weekend can testify to that.

At approximately 9.30am on Friday morning, 26 January, the young man in question was travelling slowly through the Tullydonnell area, due to the icy road conditions, when a Paratrooper jumped onto the bonnet of his car, aiming his weapon into the vehicle and threatening to shoot him.

Although shocked, the driver safely brought his car to a stop. He was then held for 30 minutes while the Paratrooper continued to shout abuse andtell the driver he would blow his ``f***ing head off''. The driver is adamant that had he been travelling alone, he would have been shot dead.

RUC members were present and made no real attempt to prevent the British soldier from shouting his threats and obscenities.

The young man and his passenger were left in a state of shock after their ordeal. The driver is contacting his solicitor to file a complaint against those responsible for the threat on his life.

The South Armagh Farmers and Residents Committee (SAFRC) says it will be seeking an urgent meeting with new British Secretary of State John Reid and will also be making a formal complaint to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin on the young man's behalf.

The SAFRC is demanding a total withdrawal of Paratroopers and all other regiments from the South Armagh area. The committee has advised young people, in particular young men, to be extremely vigilant and under no circumstances to travel unaccompanied.


An Phoblacht
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