'Gunman' was member of a controversial unit

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The Independent Online
THE Military Reaction Force, one of the shadowy undercover Army units which have always attracted controversy in Northern Ireland, is being investigated over the alleged shooting of civilians.

Tony Cox, the former soldier who Stanley Adams tried to hire to murder his wife, admitted in court that he was once a member of the unit and that he has recently been questioned about the killing of a man shot in the back in Belfast. The unit is being investigated on the orders of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland, and the inquiries centre on the death of Patrick McVeigh, 44, in 1972.

The Military Reaction Force consisted of teams of four based at Lisburn barracks. Each team comprised two soldiers, one ex- terrorist 'turned' by the security forces, and one 'handler' who looked after the latter.

On the night that Mr McVeigh, a member of a vigilante group, was killed, it is alleged that members of the MRF drove round in unmarked cars shooting at civilians after a drinking session. The soldiers claimed they were fired upon, but their car was not hit.