British troops in Northern Ireland mounted a big security operation today (August 11) in Londonderry -- scene of bloody confrontations between Catholics and Protestants in the past.
GV's Apprentice Boys marching through Londonderry. (2 shots)
SV British troops and vehicles.
SV March leaders with wreaths at war memorial.
SV Marchers walk away from memorial towards Cathedral for service.
LV ZOOM IN Crowds watch Apprentice Boys march in Londonderry. (3 shots)
"The apprentice boys march once again through the very heart on Londonderry. It's four years ago since they were last allowed officially to do so. After that parade, in 1969, there were serious riots that went on for a couple of days and resulted in British forces coming in for the first time to restore law and order. They're still here, of course, perhaps a thousand troops around this -- keeping mostly well out of the way to make sure that nothing happens today. Only a small parade through the centre of Londonderry, to the war memorial, then back to St. Columba Cathedral for a service. Well away from this area, right on the other side of the river, a massive march, many thousands of men, coming into Londonderry from all parts of Northern Ireland for the traditional apprentice boys' parade."
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Background: British troops in Northern Ireland mounted a big security operation today (August 11) in Londonderry -- scene of bloody confrontations between Catholics and Protestants in the past.
Today, Protestants were commemorating one of the most important dates in their history -- the ending of the Catholic siege of Londonderry in 1689. Thousands joined in a march through the city. It was the first time the march had been allowed since the violent clashes that followed it four years ago.
But today there were no serious incidents reported. British Broadcasting Corporation reporter Christopher Jones was on the spot, and his commentary in transcribed below. An alternative is provided overpage.