US welcomes 'Bloody Sunday' report as reconciliation bid

15th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

The United States on Tuesday welcomed publication of a British report into the "Bloody Sunday" killings of 13 people in Northern Ireland, expressing hope it will promote reconciliation.

"The United States welcomes the publication of the Bloody S unday Inquiry report," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said in a statement.

"It is our hope that the scale of the inquiry, the quantity of material available, and its findings will contribute to greater understanding and reconciliation of what happened on that tragic day," he added.

"We recognize the deep and enduring pain of those who lost loved ones on Bloody Sunday and throughout Northern Ireland's conflict in all communities," he said.

Crowley said Washington will "continue to stand by those who are working toward building a peaceful and pluralistic society.

"We hope that the completion of the independent inquiry's work and publication of its report will contribute to Northern Ireland's ongoing transformation from a turbulent past to a peaceful future," he said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron apologized Tuesday for the Bloody Sunday killings, one of the darkest days in Northern Ireland's history, calling them "unjustified and unjustifiable."

As a long-awaited report into the shootings of 13 civilians by British troops on January 30, 1972 was published, he said none of the victims were armed and soldiers had given no warning before opening fire.

Publication of the report was greeted with cheers in Londonderry, Northern Ireland's second city, where relatives of those who died joined thousands waiting to see the contents of the 5,000-page report.

The killings, when British soldiers opened fire on a civil rights march in Londonderry, was one of the most controversial in Northern Ireland's history, and there had been fears the report could re-open wounds.

© 2010 AFP

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