Two British Soldiers Seriously Wounded In Suspected IRA Attack
BONN, West Germany (AP) _ Assailants shot and seriously wounded two British soldiers at a military housing area near Munster late Friday night, police said. No one claimed responsibility but the attackers reportedly spoke with Irish accents and the Irish Republican Army was suspected.
The shootings occurred in a northwestern village and were the fourth attack on a British military facility since June.
Munster police spokesman Hans-Jochen Petzold said early Saturday that one soldier was in critical condition and the other was seriously wounded.
″One of the wounded men was able to tell us what happened,″ he said.
The soldiers were walking in civilian clothes in a housing area for British troops in the village of Gremmendorf when a car pulled up and its occupants asked in English how to reach Munster, Petzold said.
When the soldiers responded in English, one of the car’s occupants opened fire with an automatic rifle, the spokesman said.
Britain’s domestic news agency Press Association quoted Inspector Walter Varlake of the West German police as saying, ″There were many shots to the arms and legs. The soldiers fell to the ground and were bleeding heavily.″
Press Association quoted Verlake as saying the three attackers reportedly spoke with Irish accents.
The IRA has repeatedly attacked British troops stationed in West Germany in recent years in an extension of its guerrilla war in Northern Ireland, a British province.
The barracks at Munster in northwest Germany is the headquarters of the British Army’s 4th Armored Brigade in West Germany. More than 4,000 British soldiers are stationed there.
The British Defense Ministry said in a statement that the two soldiers were off duty at the time of the attack. The ministry said it would not identify them or their regiment ″in the interests of the soldiers’ future personal security.″
Two car bombs have exploded at British military housing areas this summer and one soldier was killed in an attack in Hanover.
The IRA claimed responsibility for the fatal attack and is suspected by police in the other. A third car bomb planted in a soldier’s car was found last week and defused without incident.