'Callous' killers of off-duty RUC detective condemned

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The Independent Online
SIR HUGH Annesley, Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, yesterday condemned the 'callous' killers of an off-duty policeman, as loyalists claimed responsibility for another murder hours later.

Constable Jackie Haggan, 33, a father of two, was shot in the head as he sat drinking with his pregnant wife in a bar at the Dunmore Greyhound Stadium in Belfast on Thursday night. It is believed he was carrying his handgun but was unable to draw it in time.

Early yesterday, Francis Brown, a 38-year-old Catholic, was killed when a booby-trapped lorry exploded as he climbed into it.

The outlawed Ulster Volunteer Force admitted responsibility for the blast in Portadown, Co Armagh, which appeared to be carried out to avenge the policeman's murder.

Sir Hugh said Constable Haggan's death 'illustrates the dangers to which police officers are constantly exposed. Of the 295 officers who have been murdered, 209 have been killed on duty, 86 off duty'.

He said the republicans' 'brutal act' was 'in stark contrast to their hypocritical utterances of peace. Their protestations of peace simply do not square with their obstruction and destruction of peace'.

Sir Hugh promised the RUC would 'press on relentlesly in dealing with all terrorism'.

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