Apprentice Boys halve size of Londonderry march

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The loyalist Apprentice Boys have agreed to halve to 3,000 the number of marchers due to parade through Londonderry on Saturday, the Northern Ireland Parades Commission said yesterday.

Alistair Simpson, governor of the Apprentice Boys, would say only that the march would be "modest", adding: "We are not looking for conflict." The Apprentice Boys' decision came 24 hours after police warned that the parade and an expected counter- rally by the Catholic Bogside Residents' Group had the potential for serious conflict.