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Detectives investigating the deadly "Bloody Sunday" shootings in Northern Ireland have arrested a former British soldier, authorities said Tuesday.
British troops shot dead 13 unarmed Catholics protesters during a January 30, 1972 march in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Another later died from his wounds. The day came to be known as "Bloody Sunday" and one of the most violent incidents in four decades of sectarian conflict.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland said Tuesday that 66-year-old man had been arrested by detectives investigating the events of Bloody Sunday and was being questioned at a Belfast police station. The arrest "marked a new phase in the overall investigation," police added in a statement.
Britain's Ministry of Defense said it was "aware that an ex-soldier" had been arrested in relation to the investigation. It did not name the former soldier and declined to comment further, citing the ongoing criminal probe.
An initial government report into "Bloody Sunday" blamed the victims, concluding they were armed and that security forces fired in self-defense.
However, another inquiry overturned that report in 2010, saying the protesters were unarmed and that British forces lost "self control" and opened fire.
The findings prompted Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron to issue an apology in Parliament, saying he was "deeply sorry" and that "what happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable."
Tuesday's arrest was the first in a renewed murder investigation announced by police in 2012 into the "Bloody Sunday" killings, according to Reuters.