Service held for RIRA army victims

 

Tributes were paid to two British soldiers murdered in Northern Ireland on the first anniversary of their deaths today as detectives renewed appeals for help catching the killers.

The Royal British Legion held a memorial service on the spot outside Massereene barracks in Antrim where soldiers Patrick Azimkar (21) from London and 23-year-old Mark Quinsey from Birmingham were shot by the Real IRA.

A lone piper played a lament for the fallen soldiers while a crowd of around 100 people stood in silence with heads bowed.

Church leaders from all the main denominations in Northern Ireland then spoke at short service. Afterwards wreaths were laid in front of the gates where the two young soldiers lost their lives.

Inside the military compound, the Army held its own private memorial for the soldiers who were due to deploy to Afghanistan.

They were collecting a pizza at the barracks’ gates when two gunmen walked across the road and opened fire before fleeing in a getaway car.

Two pizza delivery men and two other military personnel were seriously injured in the attack by violent extremists opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process.

Two men - including high profile Lurgan dissident Colin Duffy - have been charged with the murders and attempted murders.

But police believe others were involved.

Today Detective Superintendent Peter Farrar, urged anyone with information to come forward.

“The police investigation into the murders of sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey remains active and ongoing,” he said.

“One year on since this atrocity, Mark and Patrick’s families still feel a tremendous amount of grief. We can only hope that in time, that grief will ease.”

Two days after the soldiers’ murders, police constable Stephen Carroll was shot dead by the Continuity IRA in Craigavon, Co Armagh.

As well as the two charged with the Massereene killings, 13 others have been arrested and questioned in connection with the attack during the last 12 months.

Mr Farrar said there are more people in the community who could have information that could help his officers.

Witnesses are being asked to contact the incident room on 028944 81641 or the Crimestoppers Charity number 0800 555 111.

PA