Feature

Testing peace in Northern Ireland

What a dissident Irish Republican Army faction hoped to accomplish by killing two soldiers

There are signs of a return to "the bad old days" in Northern Ireland, said The New York Times in an editorial. Gunmen claiming to be members of a splinter group of the Irish Republican Army killed two British soldiers on Saturday, in the first deadly attack on the British military since the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement. At least this time all sides immediately condemned the violence—so maybe peace will pass this test.

Not all sides, said Andrew Catherwood in Britain's The Times. Northern Ireland's "silent majority" have yet to "raise their heads above the parapet, to say this peace, imperfect though it is, is too precious and hard won to be lost."

Gerry Adams and other leaders are aware of what the killers in the so-called Real IRA are trying to do, said Gerry Moriarty in The Irish Times. The deadly assault during a pizza delivery to the Massereene Barracks was meant to jump-start the cycle of violence and bring British soldiers back to the streets. So far, all leaders—Catholic and Protestant—have shown they don't intend to fall into the "trap."

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