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Man charged over murder of N.Ireland prison officer

05 february 2014, 14:45
©Reuters/Yves Herman
©Reuters/Yves Herman
Police in Northern Ireland on Tuesday charged a 33-year-old man over the murder of a prison officer who was shot dead near Belfast as he drove along a motorway to work in 2012, AFP reports.

The man was also charged with possessing a firearm with the intent to endanger life, according to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Officers arrested the suspect in the Lurgan area of County Armagh, and he is due in court in Craigavon on Wednesday.

Black, 52, was on his way to work at Maghaberry jail when a car with Dublin registration plates pulled up alongside his vehicle on Northern Ireland's main M1 motorway and opened fire.

His car veered into a deep ditch, and he died at the scene.

Police said it had the hallmarks of an attack by dissident republicans opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process.

Two other men face charges linked to the purchase of the car carrying the attackers.

Republicans from the minority Catholic community want Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom and join the Republic of Ireland to the south.

Mainstream republican groups such as the IRA have laid down their arms and joined the peace process, but dissident offshoots remain violently opposed to the power-sharing government in Belfast, formed of Catholic and Protestant parties.

The 1998 peace accords which ushered in the devolved Belfast assembly largely ended the Troubles, the 30 years of sectarian bloodshed.

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