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In cold blood

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The soldiers, 23-year-old Mark Quinsey, and Cengiz ‘Patrick’ Azimkar, 21, were gunned down outside Massareene Army base in County Antrim on Saturday night.
Four others were seriously injured in the Real IRA shooting, including pizza delivery driver Anthony Watson, 19, and a 32-year-old Polish national.
The gunmen struck shortly after 9 p.m. They followed the pizza delivery drivers on their regular Saturday evening trip to the barracks.
As the workers handed over the food to four unarmed soldiers at the gates of the base, two Real IRA members opened fire with automatic weapons.
They raked the six men with more than 40 bullets before calmly walking over to the bodies and firing more shots as the victims lay prone on the ground.
The clinical nature of the murders would suggest experienced gunmen were involved.
The killers then got back in their car and sped off to nearby Randalstown where they abandoned the vehicle.
The Real IRA, which killed 29 people and unborn twins in the 1998 Omagh bombing, claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to a Dublin newspaper on Sunday.
The shootings came just 36 hours after police confirmed specialist British Army units that operated in the North during the Troubles have been brought back in to deal with an increased dissident threat.
Quinsey and Azimkar, who were due to transfer to Afghanistan on Monday, are the first British soldiers to be killed in Ireland since Stephen Restorick in 1997.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown flew to Belfast on Monday for an urgent summit with security chiefs. He branded the attack “evil” and said no murder would derail the peace process.
“We will do everything in our power to make sure that Northern Ireland is safe and secure, and I assure you we will bring these murderers to justice,” said Brown.
PSNI Chief Constable, Hugh Orde, described the shootings as “a brutal and cowardly attack.”
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, a former IRA leader, demanded the dissidents call off their campaign.
“I was a member of the IRA, but that war is over now,” he said.
Sinn F

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