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10 people killed in IRA attacks in western Germany

(Maeve Connolly, Irish News)

During the course of attacks on the British security forces in western Germany the IRA killed 10 people – including a baby and two Australian tourists.

In the late 1980s there were 66,000 British military personnel based in western Germany, along the border with the Netherlands.

In August 1989 an IRA unit planted Semtex bombs at the Osnabrueck base but only one exploded and no-one was injured.

Seven years later, in June 1996, they tried again.

One of the most brutal murders was that of 34-year-old service-man Maheshkumar Islania and his six-month-old daughter Nivruti who were shot dead at a petrol station near the border in October 1989. His wife was unharmed but treated for shock.

An army base in Hanover was among those bombed, in May 1990, while Major Michael Dillon-Lee (34) was shot dead at his home in Dortmund the following month.

It has been reported that the gun used to kill him was used in the murder of Mr Islania and his baby.

Republicans Donna Maguire, Gerard Harte, Sean Hick and Paul Hughes were acquitted of the major's murder in a German court.

Ms Maguire was also acquitted of bombing an army base in Hanover but convicted for her part Osnabrueck attack in August 1989.

Her co-accused were husband and wife Pauline and Donncha O'Kane and Patrick Murray.

All four were given jail sentences but were freed because of the length of time they had spent in custody awaiting trial.

Ms Maguire's husband Leonard Hardy was arrested in Spain in 2005 and extradited to Germany where he was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder related to the August 1989 Osnabrueck bombing.

The IRA campaign came to an end when they killed two Australian tourists who they had believed were off-duty British servicemen.

The men were gunned down in front of their wives in Roermond in the Netherlands in 1990. A Dutch court cleared Ms Maguire of charges connected to the murders.

May 23, 2007
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This article appeared first in the May 22, 2007 edition of the Irish News.


This article appears thanks to the Irish News. Subscribe to the Irish News



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