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Thursday, November 26, 1998 Published at 15:19 GMT


More prisoners released

Alex Murphy and Henry Maguire served 10 years in the Maze prison

Two men who were jailed for the brutal murders of two soldiers who drove into an IRA funeral procession by mistake have been freed early as part of the peace agreement.

Alex Murphy and Henry Maguire had served 10 years of a life sentence for the murders of Army corporals David Howes and Derek Wood.


[ image: Corporal Derek Wood]
Corporal Derek Wood
The soldiers were beaten, tortured and eventually shot when they drove into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast in March 1988.

Mourners of Kevin Brady said they believed they were under attack from loyalists when they heard the corporal's car screech to a halt.

As the soldiers, members of the Signals Regiment, tried to reverse away, their path was blocked by a line of taxis.

The men were dragged from the car and taken to a nearby sports ground where they were stripped and beaten.

They were then taken to wasteground by Murphy and Maguire and shot repeatedly.

Television crews and an army observation helicopter there to cover the funeral, captured the attack on film.

Linked killings


[ image: Corporal David Howes]
Corporal David Howes
The soldiers' deaths were the culmination of a series of linked killings, which started with the shooting of three IRA members by the SAS in Gibraltar.

The IRA funeral was attacked by loyalist Michael Stone who killed three mourners - including Kevin Brady.

Murphy and Maguire were among four men released from the Maze and Magilligan prisons, on Thursday.

Half an hour before their release, Johnny Adair, leader of the loyalist Ulster Freedom Fighters, was let out on four days parole.

Adair, who was convicted of directing terrorism in 1995 and sentenced to 16 years, was met by a crowd of about 50 supporters.



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