Soldiers 'attended loyalist killing'

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The Independent Online

Eight undercover soldiers were at the scene of a high-profile killing carried out by loyalist paramilitaries, a report has revealed.

It centres on an attack in which three republicans were ambushed minutes after they left a police station in Lurgan, Co Armagh, in 1990 and a former republican prisoner, Sam Marshall, died in a hail of automatic gunfire.

The presence nearby of a red Austin Maestro car, which was later found to be a military intelligence vehicle, sparked claims that security forces had a role in the killing.

However, it has now emerged that the car was one of six vehicles taking part in a major surveillance operation which involved eight armed, undercover soldiers.

Although the loyalist killers launched the attack within yards of armed troops and escaped, investigators said there was no evidence of state collusion with the gunmen.

The three republicans included Colin Duffy, who was acquitted in January of murdering two soldiers at Massereene army base in Antrim. The trio had been signing in at Lurgan police station as part of their bail conditions after being charged with possessing ammunition.