Tuesday, July 31, 2007

British army handing over Northern Ireland to locals

Finally. From The Guardian UK:
The British army's longest continuous military operation comes to an end at midnight tonight when responsibility for security in Northern Ireland passes to the police.

Operation Banner lasted 38 years and involved 300,000 personnel, of which 763 were killed by paramilitaries. The last soldier to die was Lance Bombardier Stephen Restorick, who was shot at a vehicle checkpoint in 1997.

From tomorrow there will still be a garrison of 5,000 troops in Ulster, but they will not be on active operations and will be available for deployment anywhere in the world.

Security will become the responsibility of the Northern Ireland police, and the British soldiers will have a limited role in supporting them.

The Brits are ending their military occupation, the IRA has disarmed... almost like it's morning in Belfast.

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