UK & World News
Murder Inquiry Into NI Bloody Sunday Killings
The Police Service of Northern Ireland has confirmed it is to launch a murder inquiry into Bloody Sunday, where 13 people were fatally shot by British soldiers 40 years ago.
The investigation, which may involve up to 30 police staff and could last up to four years, follows the Saville Inquiry's report into the deaths.
Troops opened fire during a civil rights march in Londonderry on January 30, 1972, at the height of the Troubles.
Lord Saville's report†said the demonstrators who died were innocent and it blamed the Army for one of the most controversial days in Northern Ireland's history.
Key findings included that no warning had been given to any civilians before the soldiers opened fire, and none of the soldiers fired in response to attacks by petrol bombers or stone throwers.
The report also found some of those killed or injured were clearly fleeing or going to help those injured or dying.
It said none of the casualties was posing a threat or doing anything that would justify their shooting and many of the soldiers lied about their actions.
It added Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein was present at the time of the violence and "probably armed with a sub-machine gun" but did not engage in "any activity that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire".
Chief Constable Matt Baggott said matters contained in the report should be investigated but asked what the consequences were for keeping people safe now if detectives were diverted from today's crimes.
The inquiry into what happened took 12 years to report, finally doing so in 2010 after the longest-running and most expensive public inquiry in British history, costing more than 195 million pounds.
Opinion has been sharply divided over whether to bring charges following the Saville Inquiry's publication.
While some relatives have called for the soldiers to face prosecution, other commentators have argued doing so would be unfair and could even undermine hard-won peace and stability in Northern Ireland.
John Kelly, whose 17-year-old brother Michael was among the people killed on Bloody Sunday, said he was confident that the soldier responsible for shooting his brother in the stomach would eventually be charged.
"I do believe we will see these soldiers in court to be prosecuted for what they did," Mr Kelly said.
Progress towards lasting peace in Northern Ireland was highlighted last week when the Queen shook hands with Mr McGuinness.