IRA Ambush Kills British Soldier in Northern Ireland
BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) _ The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility Sunday for killing a British soldier who was ambushed while patrolling an IRA stronghold and cut down by machine-gun fire.
Lance Sgt. Graham Alexander Stewart, 25, of the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards, died Sunday morning from his wounds, police said.
Stewart had been in the army for six years and was on his second tour of duty in Northern Ireland.
Police said the soldier was hit by machine-gun fire Saturday while on foot patrol near Cullyhanna village in South Armagh, two miles from the Irish Republic border. The security forces call the region ″bandit country″ because of its sympathies with the outlawed Irish Republican Army.
The IRA, which is fighting to end British rule and unite the province with the republic, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement to Press Association, Britain’s domestic news agency.
The latest killing brought the known death toll of civilians, police and soldiers in the past 21 years of violence to 2,797, including 423 British soldiers and 187 members of the locally recruited Ulster Defense Regiment.