Real IRA accused goes on trial over pizza delivery ambush

A prominent Irish republican went on trial yesterday charged with the murders of the last two soldiers to die violently in Northern Ireland.

Colin Duffy has spent more than two years in custody awaiting trial.

Sappers Patrick Azimkar, 21, from north London, and Mark Quinsey, 23, of Birmingham, were unarmed when they were gunned down in March 2009 while collecting pizzas at the gates of Massereene barracks in Antrim.

Duffy, 43, of Lurgan, County Armagh, and Brian Shivers, 46, of Magherafelt, County Londonderry, deny murder and attempted murder. Duffy, a veteran republican, smiled and nodded to his relatives and supporters in the public gallery.

The sappers were killed on the night before they were due to fly out for an Afghan tour of duty, the court heard. The pizza delivery men were also badly wounded but survived.

Prosecutor Terence Mooney, QC, who said it was "a highly organised and ruthless attack" by the Real IRA, said 65 shots were fired, some at the wounded sappers. They died from multiple bullet and shrapnel wounds.

He said the judge would hear that DNA matching that of Duffy was recovered from the tip of a glove left in a getaway car.

- Independent

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