asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement about military operations in Northern Ireland, with particular reference to the border.
The Armed Forces continue to support the Royal Ulster Constabulary in the fight against terrorism in Northern Ireland. In the first quarter of this year, 167 people were charged with terrorist offences, including 26 for murder and 21 for attempted murder. There have also been a number of important finds of arms and ammunition both in the Province itself and by the Irish security forces in the Republic. Terrorist violence—albeit at a reduced level—continues and has this year claimed the lives of three regular soldiers and four members of the UDR. Along much of the border the RUC is able to conduct policing with reduced day-to-day military support, while the UDR is now supplementing the Regular Army at a number of border stations in the West of the Province. South Armagh presents special problems however, and regrettably, serious attacks on the security forces continue to take place there.