Quick Guide: Northern Ireland conflict
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Conflict's core

Origins

The 'Troubles' begin

Violence on all sides

Peace in sight

Fragile future?

Violence on all sides
Troops were soon a permanent fixture on Northern Ireland's streets

Throughout the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s paramilitary groups waged violent campaigns to pursue their goals.

The IRA carried out deadly bomb and gun attacks in Britain and Northern Ireland that targeted police, soldiers, politicians and civilians.

Loyalist paramilitaries targeted Catholics in "tit-for-tat" killings.

Police and British forces tried to keep order, sometimes amid controversy, such as the alleged co-operation of some undercover units with loyalist groups.