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Men held over 1973 murder are freed

Two men arrested on the UK mainland by police investigating a loyalist sectarian murder in Northern Ireland 40 years ago have been released pending reports to prosecutors.

Catholic Seamus Gilmore, 18, was working at a petrol station in north Belfast in February 1973 when he was gunned down.

Detectives detained a 59-year-old man from Falkirk and a 61-year-old from London today. They were interviewed in Glasgow and London throughout the day before being released tonight.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Detective Inspector Chris Wilson said: "Following a review process, a number of new lines of inquiry have been identified. I have spoken to the Gilmore family to keep them updated on developments."

Mr Gilmore was working at a garage in Belfast's Ballysillan Road on February 4 1973 when he was shot by loyalists, believed to be from the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

Two men got out of a hijacked car driven by another man and fired a number of rounds. Mr Gilmore died in hospital the following day.

PSNI s erious crime branch detectives travelled to the Falkirk area of Scotland, where they arrested one suspect with assistance from Police Scotland officers.

At the same time, detectives also travelled to London, where another man was arrested with assistance from the Metropolitan Police.

A PSNI spokesman appealed for anybody with information to contact the force's major investigations team.

Mr Gilmore was from Rosscoole Park, not far from where he was shot. He was working at the Mount Pleasant filling station in a loyalist area which saw some of the worst violence of the Troubles.

A statement from members of his family said: "We appreciate the efforts of the PSNI which have culminated in these arrests.

"We have forgiven those who took Seamus' life and we pray for them.

"Our priority now is our 82-year-old mother and will make no further comment on this matter."

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