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Gunmen Attack 20 Minutes after IRA Christmas Cease-Fire Ends

December 27, 1990

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) _ Gunmen fired at police guarding a road checkpoint early Thursday, 20 minutes after the end of a three-day Christmas cease-fire ordered by the IRA.

Police headquarters at Belfast said in a statement that police at Annathmartin checkpoint, 70 miles west of Belfast, returned the fire but nobody was reported injured on either side.

No group immediately claimed responsibility but suspicion fell on the Irish Republican Army fighting British rule in Northern Ireland. The mainly Roman Catholic IRA wants to unite the Protestant-dominated province with the 95 percent Catholic Republic of Ireland under socialist rule.

Police said the shooting happened 20 minutes into Thursday. The IRA cease- fire began at midnight Sunday and ended at midnight Wednesday. Police said no attacks were recorded in Northern Ireland throughout the IRA cease-fire.

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