What’s the difference – Shias kill Sunnis and Protestants in Northern Ireland kill Catholics and vice versa?
“Dissident republicans are believed to have shot dead a Northern Ireland prison officer in a motorway ambush.
David Black, who had worked in the Northern Ireland Prison Service for more than 30 years and was nearing retirement, was shot dead on Thursday on the M1 between Lurgan and Portadown in County Armagh.
In what has been described as an ambush, Black, from Cookstown, Co Tyrone, was killed after shots were fired into the car as he drove to work at the top-security Maghaberry jail near Lisburn, Co Antrim, which holds several key republican dissident prisoners.
There are unconfirmed reports that a gunman leaned out of a passing car and fired an automatic weapon on the prison officer’s vehicle in front of early-morning commuters.
Security sources and local politicians blamed anti-ceasefire republicans for the murder. The father of two is the first prison officer to be murdered by paramilitaries since 1993. The killing has sparked fears of an upsurge in dissident republican violence across Northern Ireland.
Expressing concern about the threat of further terror attacks, Terry Spence, the chairman of the Police Federation of Northern Ireland, warned: “Prison officers and police officers alike are aware of the deadly threat from dissident terrorists who won’t face up to the fact that Northern Ireland has moved on and will not go back to its awful past. We must all be totally vigilant about our personal safety.”