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Last Updated: Monday, 24 October 2005, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Watchtower demolition is halted
Army watchtower
The Army has begun dismantling the Masonic watchtower
Work to dismantle an observation tower at the Masonic army base in Londonderry city centre has been halted.

An Army spokesman blamed people throwing stones, who attacked the base in Bishop Street on Sunday.

Strong winds also made it too risky to deploy cranes on site. Contractors are to resume work on the tower on Tuesday.

The watchtower is being removed as part of demilitarisation measures announced by Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain in August.

Army engineers began removing the watchtower on Sunday. A section of the city's walls was closed off for safety reasons during the work.

A second observation tower at the base is to be brought down early next year.

The rest of the base will also be removed, although an exact date for that has not been given.

Over the next two years, the government also plans to close the military base at Maydown police station and Rosemount barracks in the city.


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