Northern Ireland: An Inhuman New Weapon

An Inhuman New Weapon

Northern Ireland's 20 years of violence have produced instances of breathtaking brutality, but last week the Irish Republican Army reached a new low when it turned innocent civilians into human bombs. Seven persons were killed and at least 36 injured in synchronized dawn attacks, when two explosive-laden vans blew up at British army checkpoints near Londonderry, in the northwest, and Newry, in the south. Their drivers, one of whom survived, had been forcibly strapped into their seats.

To ensure that the vans were driven with their murderous cargo into the checkpoints, British authorities said, I.R.A. gunmen held the drivers' families hostage...

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