McGuinness says he regrets all Troubles deaths

AP News
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Posted: Jun 28, 2012 2:40 PM

LONDON (AP) — IRA commander-turned-political peacemaker Martin McGuinness says he regrets "every single life" lost in Northern Ireland's decades of violence.

McGuinness, who is the deputy leader of Northern Ireland's Catholic-Protestant power-sharing administration, says his historic handshake this week with Queen Elizabeth II was meant to offer "the hand of friendship" to Protestants who were once his enemies.

But McGuinness accused the British government of hampering further reconciliation with "stupid and unhelpful" decisions.

In a speech Thursday at the Houses of Parliament in London, McGuinness said Britain had failed to "acknowledge its role as a combatant in the conflict" that killed about 3,700 people over the past four decades.

The Provisional Irish Republican Army, which McGuinness once led, was responsible for some 1,775 of those deaths; British soldiers killed 309 people.