Former soldiers targeted in Real IRA death plot

Two former security service members have been warned of an aborted murder bid against them by dissident republicans, it was revealed today.

The ex-soldiers from the south Derry region were told by police last night of the Real IRA plot to kill them over the Easter period, according to security sources.

The warning comes a month after the Real IRA shot dead two serving soldiers outside an Army barracks in Antrim. Two days later the Continuity IRA killed a policeman in Craigavon.

It is understood the terrorists abandoned the latest murder bid. However, officers warned the two former Ulster Defence Regiment members that a further attempt on their lives could be made.

Euro MP Jim Allister has called for the police to re-issue personal protection weapons to ex security service members in the wake of the incident.

“This is alarming and confirmation that ex-security force personnel, who are soft targets, are very much on the IRA’s death list,” said the leader of the hardline Traditional Unionist Voice.

A police spokesman said the service did not comment on the personal security of individuals.

He added: “However where we are made aware that an individual needs to review their security, we take steps to inform them immediately.

“We would never ignore anything that would put someone at risk.”

Sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham, and Patrick Azimkar, 21, from London, were gunned down at the front gate of the Massereene barracks in Antrim on March 7. One man has been charged with the murders.

Forty-eight hours later Pc Stephen Carroll, 48, from Banbridge, was shot dead as he attended a call for assistance from a distressed woman in Craigavon. Three people have been charged in connection with that killing.

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