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Orange Order calls for support of controversial Army parade

As controversy rages over Sunday's planned British Army parade through Belfast and a Sinn Fein protest against it, the Orange Order said it was calling for thousands to come out and welcome home the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The British Army, meanwhile, is asking all those who attend to recognise the parade does not have undivided support and has reminded them it will not be a celebration of war.

The Orange Order said it delights in showing its support for the returning heroes and it will ignore the Sinn Fein protest.

The Parades Commission has appealed for all sides to redouble their efforts to reduce tension.

Major General Chris Brown, General Officer Commanding the British Army in Northern Ireland, said the parade should not be an excuse for deepening friction and weapons would not be carried.

The SDLP has appealed to people not to join the protest while the DUP said the police must ensure Sinn Fein protesters are kept well back.

Jean McBride, the mother of a Catholic teenager murdered by British soldiers, said she was outraged by a British Army march taking place two miles from her home.

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