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European Journal

Northern Ireland: Undercover Force

During the Troubles in Northern Ireland, Britain deployed a controversial secret unit, said to have shot dead members of the armed Catholic IRA and covered up murders by the pro-British paramilitary group the UVF, according to an increasing number of witness statements. This death squad operated into the 1970s, eliminating targeted IRA members.

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Members of the unit, the Military Reaction Force, have now confirmed that themselves. Force members were said to have worked undercover, camouflaged as trash collectors, street sweepers and homeless people in the Catholic districts. 40 men are said to have belonged to the force. More and more relatives of victims are now demanding their cases be re-heard. In Britain an amnesty for such crimes, committed before the Good Friday Agreement, has been under discussion for months.