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Protest held over Bloody Sunday paratroopers arrest

By Steven Alexander

Campaigning veterans have taken to the streets of London in protest against a police investigation into the former paratroopers who killed 14 civil rights demonstrators on Bloody Sunday.

The protest was sparked over the arrest of a former member of the Parachute Regiment on duty in Londonderry on January 30, 1972.

'Soldier J' - a former lance corporal who was in his early 20s on Bloody Sunday but is now aged 66 - was detained in Co Antrim last Tuesday.

He was released on police bail a day later after facing questions over the murders of William Nash (15), Michael McDaid (20) and John Young (17).

On Saturday, campaigners demanding immunity for the Paras gathered at the Cenotaph war memorial in central London.

They delivered a petition of almost 25,000 signatures calling for all troops involved in Bloody Sunday to be granted immunity to 10 Downing Street.

Petition organiser Dave Wills said: "No benefit comes from this persecution of veterans other than to stir up a tragic day in the history of the Troubles. These events occurred 43 years ago. Northern Ireland and most of its people have moved on and want to forget. Let's lay this to rest once and for all."

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