IRA Says Police Officer Abducted and Killed
BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) _ The outlawed Irish Republican Army said Sunday it had abducted and shot to death a police officer after interrogating him.
An IRA statement released to the media said the officer, 42-year-old Louis Robinson, had been ″executed″ after questioning.
Belfast police said they could not confirm the death. Robinson was abducted on Saturday night near the border with the Irish Republic.
Authorities searched for Robinson Saturday night and Sunday on both sides of the border.
Robinson’s wife, Ann, 39, had earlier made a television plea for her husband to be released unharmed. He had been on sick leave for three years and was being treated for depression.
″He is a human being, he is my husband and the fact that he is not well makes it even more horrific. Please let him go. Let him go home,″ she said.
He would be the eighth police officer slain this year and the 274th to be killed since the IRA began its violent campaign in 1969 to end British rule of the province.
His death brings the total of civilians, police and soldiers killed in the past 21 years to 2,813.
Police said Robinson had been on a fishing trip to the republic in Dingle, County Kerry, with five friends in the Northern Ireland prison service. On the way home, their van was stopped by about a dozen armed men after crossing the border on the Dublin-Belfast road in south Armagh.
Police said Robinson and two of his friends were bundled into the trunks of cars and driven off while the other three in the party fled in the darkness into surrounding fields.
Two of the men abducted were badly beaten, but were released later near the village of Belleek seven miles away. They were taken to a hospital for treatment, and one of them remained hospitalized with rib injuries.
Police said the gunmen asked for Robinson by name when they stopped the van.
The south Armagh area is known as ″bandit country″ by the British army because of the high level of support there for the IRA and the large number of IRA attacks.
The IRA says it seeks to unite Protestant-dominated Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland, which is 95 percent Catholic, under a socialist government.