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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 June, 2003, 14:29 GMT 15:29 UK
Nailbomber claims rejected
Soldiers in Derry on Bloody Sunday
Soldiers shot 13 people dead in Derry on Bloody Sunday
A former soldier has told the Bloody Sunday Inquiry he cannot accept that any of the people killed were nailbombers.

Soldier 989, who was in the Royal Anglian Regiment, said if the soldiers had shot nailbombers, the devices would have exploded, causing very severe casualties.

The Saville Inquiry is examining the events of 30 January 1972 when 13 civilians were shot dead by British army soldiers during a civil rights march in Londonderry. A 14th person died later.

At the inquiry sitting in London on Thursday, the soldier said he believed the young paratroops who shot the people acted irresponsibly.

But he said the blame lay with those who sent them into the Bogside.

Soldier 989 also said he and other soldiers initially clapped and laughed as they heard of each death but they quickly began to realise that something was terribly wrong as there was no chance the paratroops had killed 13 gunmen in one afternoon.

The inquiry, which is based at the Guildhall in Derry, is currently hearing the evidence from military witnesses and others in London because of concerns for their safety.

Lord Saville of Newdigate and the Commonwealth judges accompanying him on the Bloody Sunday inquiry began their work nearly four years ago.

They are not expected to report back until next year.

The Bloody Sunday Inquiry was established in 1998 by Prime Minister Tony Blair after a campaign by families of those killed and injured.

They felt that the Widgery Inquiry, held shortly after the shootings, did not find out the truth about what happened on Bloody Sunday.

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