ULSTER: The Murder of Santa Claus

With a touch of gallows humor the bluff but shaken citizens of beleaguered Belfast have taken to asking: "How many bombing days until Christmas?" In a heightened campaign of terror, the outlawed Irish Republican Army is apparently trying to bring the center of the city to a shuttered standstill by Christmas. Last week brought twelve major explosions and 27 deaths, the highest toll ever in Northern Ireland's troubled history. In addition, I.R.A. gunmen murdered three members of the Ulster Defense Regiment, a local militia with 6,000 members, most of them Protestants. One of the victims, however, was a Catholic...

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