Ballymurphy victims' families to lobby politicians

Sinn Fein West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty will accompany the families as they lobby politicians

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The families of 11 people killed by the British Army in Ballymurphy in west Belfast in 1971 are to lobby politicians at Westminster.

The shootings took place during the Army's Operation Demetrius, during which people suspected of paramilitary activity were interned.

Sinn Fein MP Pat Doherty will accompany the families when they travel to London on Wednesday.

He said the delegation "would highlight the innocence of the victims".

The 11 victims were killed in August 1971 by members of the Parachute Regiment in the 36 hours after the internment of IRA suspects.

Independent investigation

They included a Catholic priest and a mother of eight children.

Their families have been carrying on a campaign for an independent investigation into events surrounding the killings.

Last month they asked Attorney General John Larken to order new inquests into the deaths.

Down and Connor Bishop Noel Treanor said in July that he was supporting calls for an independent international inquiry into the deaths and a government apology.

Dr Treanor made his comments after announcing the release of previously unpublished Church archives.

The documents included a report based on eyewitness accounts of the events taken about two weeks after the killings.

According to the Church, the accounts included that of a "serving member of the British army, a member of the Royal Navy who returned to his ship shortly after the shootings, and an ex-Irish Guardsman".

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