A former British paratrooper has been charged for the killing of two unarmed protesters in Northern Ireland in 1972, in an incident that has become known as Bloody Sunday. The veteran, identified as Soldier F, will also face prosecution with the attempted murder of four others.
A statement from the prosecutors announced that 18 other suspects, including 16 ex-soldiers and two alleged Official Irish Republican Army members, under investigation will not be charged.
“[I]t has been concluded that the available evidence is insufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction,” the statement said.
“It has been a long road for the families… and today will be another extremely difficult day for many of them,” Northern Ireland’s director of public prosecutions Stephen Herron said as he announced the charges.
“We recognize the deep disappointment felt by many of those we met with today,” he said.
Bloody Sunday refers to January 30, 1972, when British troops fired on unarmed civil rights protesters in Derry, or Londonderry, in Northern Ireland.
The incident took place at the height of Northern Ireland’s civil unrest.