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The BBC's Tom Coulter in Belfast
"The major review is the first of its kind"
 real 28k

Thursday, 22 June, 2000, 20:04 GMT 21:04 UK
Date for Omagh bomb hearing
Omagh bombing
The perpetrators of the bomb are still at large
A date for an inquest into the deaths of 29 people killed in the Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland has been announced.

The inquest will begin in the County Tyrone town on 6 September and is expected to last up to four weeks.

The Greater Belfast Coroner, John Leckey, will preside over the inquest and hear the evidence.

Dissident republicans, the Real IRA, carried out the bombing which ripped the heart out of Omagh in August 1998.

Hundreds were injured in the explosion which took place on a busy shopping day, and just four months after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

Two baby girls, five other children, 14 women and five men were among the victims.

The bomb was the worst single atrocity in the history of Northern Ireland's Troubles.

Sir Ronnie Flanagan: Announced review
The Real IRA called a ceasefire shortly after the attack, which was widely condemned on both sides of the political divide.

News of the inquest follows a recent announcement by the RUC Chief Constable, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, of a major review of the investigation into the bombing.

Sir Ronnie has set up a special team of detectives to re-examine the inquiry in a new move to bring charges against those responsible for the atrocity.

The independent assessment is the first of its type to be carried out by the RUC.

Sir Ronnie said the review would be detailed and thorough. More than 2,000 people have been interviewed and over 3,000 statements taken by police.

Nearly 80 suspects were questioned on both sides of the border.

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