Clinton condemns NIreland attack as 'cowardly act'

3rd April 2011, Comments 0 comments

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the murder of a Northern Ireland police officer Saturday, calling the car bombing a "cowardly act."

"The perpetrators of this cowardly act represent the failures of the past, and their actions run counter to the achievements, aspirations and collective will of the people of Northern Ireland," Clinton said in a statement.

Ronan Kerr, a 25-year-old Catholic recruit who only completed his training three weeks ago, was killed by a booby-trap under his car outside his home in Omagh, the scene of Northern Ireland's worst terror atrocity, when a car bomb killed 29 people in 1998.

No single group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. However, senior politicians pointed toward dissident republicans, who oppose the power-sharing peace process.

"Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of this young man who lost his life because of his decision to serve the entire community," Clinton said.

"We echo the unequivocal condemnations by Northern Ireland's politicians and call on anyone with information to cooperate fully and expediently with the Police Service of Northern Ireland."

The top US diplomat's husband, former president Bill Clinton, helped facilitate negotiations that led to the "Good Friday" peace agreement in 1998.

© 2011 AFP

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