Old Bailey bomber quizzed over soldier murders

Old Bailey bomber Marian Price was arrested today by detectives investigating the murders of two soldiers outside a military barracks in Northern Ireland.

Heavily armed police raided her home in the Andersonstown area of west Belfast and she was taken away for questioning about the Real IRA killings last March.

Price, 55, was arrested along with a 39-year-old man, who was detained 40 miles away in Coalisland, Co Tyrone.

It is understood that police began the search of her semi-detached red brick house in Stockman's Avenue, a quiet cul de sac close to the M1 motorway, when heavily armed police wearing flak jackets arrived in cars and Land Rovers at around 7.30am.

The arrested pair are being held in Antrim for questioning, bringing to 14 the number of people arrested over the murders of Sappers Patrick Azimkar, 21, from London, and Mark Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham.

Two men have been charged over the murders - prominent Co Armagh republican Colin Duffy, 41, and Brian Shivers, 44, from Magherafelt, Co Londonderry.

Gunmen opened fire on the two soldiers as they collected food from a pizza delivery man outside the Massereene base in Co Antrim on March 7.

Within 48 hours of the killings, a separate dissident republican group, the Continuity IRA, shot police officer Stephen Carroll dead in Craigavon, Co Armagh.

A 17-year-old youth has been charged in connection with the murder of the 48-year-old police officer.

Price and her sister Dolores were among those convicted over the 1973 bombing outside the Old Bailey in which one person was killed and around 200 others injured.

She is a leading member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, considered to be the Real IRA's political wing.

She was 19 and her sister 22 when they were among nine people convicted for their parts in the Old Bailey car bomb attack on March 8, 1973.

Frederick Milton, a 58-year-old caretaker, was caught up in the blast.

He suffered only minor injuries and helped to rescue people at the scene, but died hours later of a heart attack.

A jury at a subsequent inquest declared his death a murder, although none of the bombers was charged with the offence.

The Price sisters were transferred to a Northern Ireland prison after going on hunger strike.

The episode secured their position as high-profile members of the republican movement at the time.

Marian Price has since been a vocal critic of the decision of the mainstream republican movement to decommission weapons and back the political process.

But while she became a harsh critic of Sinn Fein, one of those jailed alongside her over the Old Bailey bombing is current senior party member Gerry Kelly.

He also went on hunger strike and was force-fed in jail in the aftermath of his imprisonment in England.

He was eventually transferred to Northern Ireland's then top security Maze prison, where he helped to lead a mass breakout of republican prisoners in 1983.

The Belfast republican was subsequently rearrested in Amsterdam, although after his release from prison he took on a senior role in Sinn Fein.

He is now a junior minister in the Northern Ireland power-sharing government.