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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 July 2006, 06:04 GMT 07:04 UK
Soldiers in barracks for Twelfth
Soldiers in riot gear in Belfast
Soldiers are not being deployed on the Twelfth
Soldiers will not be deployed to assist the policing of the Twelfth demonstrations across Belfast for the first time since 1970.

The police will handle the security operation for Wednesday's parades, including several controversial ones.

Tens of thousands of Orangemen and supporters attend Northern Ireland's Protestant Twelfth of July parades.

The parades mark the victory of William of Orange over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

The move is part of a general scaling-down, or "normalisation", of the Army's role in assisting the police in Northern Ireland.


Last year, some 1,600 soldiers were used to back up police at several flashpoints in and around Belfast.

There was trouble last year in north Belfast when nationalists attacked police after an Orange Order parade passed the Ardoyne area.

Restrictions have been placed on the march by the Parades Commission, with only a single drum beat to be played over a disputed part of the route at Ardoyne during the return parade.

Supporters are also not allowed to accompany the parade and will be bussed along the disputed stretch of the parade ahead of the march.

During rioting following the Whiterock parade in September last year 1,000 soldiers were deployed to assist police and one man was shot by soldiers.

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