Terrorism: July 19, 2002


: On 16 July, in a statement marking the anniversary of "Bloody Friday" the Irish Republican Army issued an unprecedented apology for the deaths of "noncombatants" over 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland. The IRA and rival anti-British groups were responsible for over 2,000 of the 3,600 plus people killed in political-sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, Britain and the Republic of Ireland since 1968. 

The IRA set off more than 20 bombs within an hour in Belfast on 21 July 1972, killing seven civilians and two soldiers. Although the outlawed organization has stated its regret in the past for individual acts, it has not previously issued so sweeping an apology. The statement added: "The IRA is committed unequivocally to the search for freedom, justice and peace in Ireland. We remain totally committed to the peace process and to dealing with the challenges and difficulties which this presents. This includes the acceptance of past mistakes and of the hurt and pain we have caused to others." - Adam Geibel


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