'Real IRA' Claims It Killed 2 UK Soldiers

Prime minister rips 'evil, cowardly' ambush
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Mar 8, 2009 6:26 AM CDT
Police set up checkpoint at the scene of a shooting at Massereene Barracks in Northern Ireland after two British soldiers were shot to death Saturday in a drive-by ambush by suspected IRA militants.   (AP Photo/ Paul Faith/PA Wire)
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(Newser) – An organization called "The Real IRA" claimed responsibility today for killing two British soldiers at a Northern Ireland army base, the Independent reports. Four other people, including two pizza delivery men, were seriously wounded in the drive-by ambush, reports the Times of London. The attack occurred just miles from Belfast, close to a police station where suspected militants had recently been detained.

The brazen operation triggered chilling memories of 3 decades of sectarian violence and threatened to destabilize the ongoing peace process. The soldiers were the first killed in Northern Ireland since 1997. "We haven't lost a soldier or policeman to terror in quite some time," said a local politician. "We had hoped these days were behind us." The Real IRA last struck 11 years ago, killing 29 people in Northern Ireland.