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Man charged with murder in 1998 Omagh bombing

Northern Ireland police have charged an Irish Republican Army (IRA) veteran with murder over the 1998 Omagh car bombing. It was the worst single atrocity during the "Troubles."

Police arrested 43-year-old Seamus Daly on Monday, when he crossed the border from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland. He is to appear in a court near Belfast on Friday.

Daly has been charged with the murder of 29 people, who died in a car-bomb attack in Omagh, County Tyrone in 1998.

"He faces 29 murder charges relating to the blast on August 15, 1998, two charges in relation to the Omagh explosion and two charges in relation to an attempted explosion in Lisburn in April 1998 - a total of 33 charges," according to a statement by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

The Real IRA - a splinter group of the now disbanded IRA - claimed responsibility for what was the worst single atrocity during what was known as the Troubles - the decades-long conflict between Catholic Irish nationalists and predominantly Protestant loyalists, who sought to remain part of the United Kingdom. However, no one has been convicted in a criminal court so far.

Daly is one of four men who were found responsible for the bombing in a civil action taken by the families of the victims. The four were ordered by the Northern Ireland High Court to pay 1.5 million pounds ($2.5 million, ) in compensation. No money has been paid and Daly has consistently denied being involved.

The Omagh bombing happened shortly after the Good Friday agreement had been signed - a landmark peace accord that largely ended decades of sectarian violence and paved the way for a power-sharing government in Belfast.

ng/jm (AP, Reuters, AFP)