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This Happened

This Happened—​November 21: IRA Strikes The Pubs Of Birmingham

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out numerous terrorist acts against Britain through the 20th century, but among the bloodiest were the Birmingham Pub Bombings in 1974 at the height of The Troubles.

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What were the Birmingham Pub Bombings?

On Nov. 21, 1974, 21 people were killed and 182 more were injured after concealed bombs were left off at two separate pubs in the city of Birmingham, England.

For 30 years, the British territory of Northern Ireland was consumed by sectarian violence known as “The Troubles”. In 2014, a senior officer of the Irish Republican army, one of the main factions in “The Troubles”, confessed to his role in the Birmingham bombings. He said the bombers hadn't intended to kill any civilians, but they were unable to phone the police in time to have the locations of the concealed bombs cleared after they were dropped off.

Who was responsible for the Birmingham Pub Bombings?

Six men were quickly arrested for the bombings, though little evidence was presented in the case against them. The men maintained their innocence, claiming that they were intimidated and beaten into signing false confessions. They served 16 years in prison before their convictions were overturned by the Court of Appeals in 1991.

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