N. Ireland: Second man charged over policeman’s murder

Stephen Carroll's coffin is carried from St Therese's chapel in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, on March 13.
A second man has been charged with murder over the killing of a policeman in Northern Ireland two weeks ago.

The suspect, identified only as a 37-year-old male, was charged with murder and possession of a firearm, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said in a recorded statement on their media line. He is expected to be named after he appears in court Wednesday, police said. A 17-year old was charged Monday over the same incident, the killing of police officer Stephen Carroll, 48, on March 9. Four other people remain in custody but have not been charged in the killing, police said. The teen, who was arrested March 10 along with the 37-year-old, was also charged with “collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists” and being an alleged member of Continuity IRA — a republican splinter group considered a terrorist organization by the United Kingdom. He appeared in court Tuesday, charged with murder, and will remain in custody, police said. The trial may take months to start. He is not being named because he is a minor. Four other people are being held in connection with the shooting of two British soldiers, Cengiz “Pat” Azimkar, 21, and Mark Quinsey, 23, on March 7. The shootings raised fears that Northern Ireland could be plunged back into the sectarian violence that left about 3,600 people dead over the course of three decades. But political leaders from across the spectrum condemned the killings, and so far the violence has not escalated.

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Republican splinter groups — which do not accept the Good Friday Agreement that ended the violence in 1998 — claimed responsibility for both incidents, according to British media reports. The killings of Carroll, Azimkar and Quinsey are the first political shootings of police or soldiers in the province in more than a decade.