Has all hell broken loose?

As if the weekends event wasn’t enough, today we have had two security alerts in two different areas of Northern Ireland (Lurgan and Cookstown) with reports tonight of a policeman being shot in Lurgan.

Has all hell broken loose?

Obviously a group or individual has yet to claim responsibility for any of today’s events but something is seriously going on.

Update: BBC report one dead. The Times Online reporting that it happened in a predominantly Catholic area of Craigavon. One other person injured.

Further update: Police confirm officer fatally wounded. Lurgan estate cornered off; condemnation all round.

  • Gaz

    BBC NI reporting that police officers have been ‘involved’ in this evenings shooting in the Lismore area of Craigavon. Other media reporting that there has been ‘at least one’ police casualty.

    My god folks, this is depressing.

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    Any reports of what happened in lurgan?

  • Carson’s Cat

    BBC is reporting that a police officer has been taken to hospital after shooting in Lismore area of Craigavon.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7933990.stm

  • Danny

    🙁

    Horrible news.

    Lots of information (speculation?) flooding in now.

    PSNI officer shot in Craigavon – reports
    http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0309/craigavon.html

    “The initial information suggests the shooting took place within the past hour and the victim is in a critical condition.”

    User (on politics.ie) within the past three minutes claiming Sky News reporting one officer “fatally wounded”. BBC News 24 reporting ambush.

    http://www.politics.ie/current-affairs/51795-shots-fired-craigavon-7.html

  • jone

    Andrew, in a word No.

  • Gaz

    BBC News Channel: police officer shot dead in Craigavon.

  • picador

    Well, so much for the conspiracy theories. The dissidents have declared war.

    We need to take to the streets (peacefully) to oppose them.

  • Objectivist

    This is like a flashback from a bad trip. Depressing.

  • missfitz

    Possibly the only chink of light in this very distressing time was the appearance of Alex Maskey, Gregory Campbell, Basil McCrea and Alec Atwood on the Spotlight Special this evening. Although it was a little touch and go at times, by and large they presented a totally unified front in the condemnation of recent events and agreement on how to go forward.
    Please God we are not descending into a new round of daily bulletins of death and destruction

  • Pete Baker

    Andrew

    “Has all hell broken loose?”

    Clearly not.

    What there appears to be is a concerted effort by some to suggest that chaos reigns.

    Let’s not add to that suggestion.

  • crc

    This is disgusting.

    No, no, no, no, no.

  • The attack in Brownlow is sickening and depressing and for one family at least, something from which they will never recover, but sadly not all that surprising given that Lurgan and Brownlow have been the secene of dissident activity in the past. This clearly seems to be the dissidents’ attempt at a Tet Offensive. The problem for them is that they’re not overendowed with personnel and they could well shoot their bolt fairly quickly.

  • autocue

    David Simpson was spot on. The people responsible for this are vermin.

  • foreign correspondent

    This is very bad. Like Picador says, people from both communities need to take to the streets peacefully, and in very large numbers, to show that there is no support for these lunatics among the nationalist population, and no support for retaliation among the unionist population.

  • plainly speaking

    Another Irishman murdered in the name of Ireland. Utter madness.

  • NCM

    Sammy Morse: “This clearly seems to be the dissidents’ attempt at a Tet Offensive.”

    ***

    More like the “Lent Offensive.”

  • percy

    sickening news… missfitz that’s a good call

  • paz

    This is indeed terrifying. Picador and foreign corresponent are spot on, the people of Northern Ireland need to get onto the streets to peacefully but forcefully say “no going back” with one voice. We need our leaders to get over their differences to insist that everyone supports the police 100% to catch these murderers.

  • Damian O’Loan

    ” TRADE UNIONS ORGANISE SILENT PROTEST

    The Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions calls on all workers to show their condemnation at the callous murders of two soldiers in Antrim last Saturday by attending one of the silent protest rallies taking place at:

    1pm, Wednesday, 11 March 2009-03-09

    Belfast City Hall

    L’Derry Guildhall Square

    Newry Town Hall

    Other venues for silent protest and reflection will be announced.”

    http://www.ictuni.org/?module=datalistdetail&itemid=258b4814-b1fa-4c34-8264-b845a09c6b36

  • N.D.

    Shocked, appalled and disturbed by this development, we can’t allow this minority to drag us back down, we’ve all come too far.
    Though David Simpsons comments regarding Sinn Fein are going too far, the last thing we need is political mud slinging, it’s a time for unity and trust, not to score cheap points or inflame anythhing further.

  • LURIG

    This is totally disgusting. As a Nationalist I condemn it in the strongest terms but am getting a bit worried about the comments from certain DUP politicians. They now seem to be resorting to type in lambasting ALL Republicans when this is not the case and obvious nonsense. We know where this dangerous rhetoric can take us and Loyalists don’t usually need an excuse to target innocent Catholics. If the UDA & UVF DO do again murder people they should be condemned to the wilderness forever. I hope that certain Unionists reflect on their words if there is a Loyalist response. I also hope that Mary McAleese and the Irish government cut ALL ties and stop their rounds of golf with the UDA & UVF Bacardi Brigadiers if they kill innocent Catholics again.

  • Alan

    LOYALIST political representatives have made a plea to people within their communities not to retaliate following Saturday’s atrocity.
    Frankie Gallagher, from the Ulster Political Research Group which has links with the UDA, said: “The people who carried out this attack have no mandate for their futile actions and their communities – particularly the Irish nationalist and republican communities in Northern Ireland – must let them know that loud and clear.

    “This is clearly an attack on what all communities have achieved so far and an attempt to destroy the peace process itself.

    “This cowardly attack has created considerable anger in unionist communities but there must be no retaliatory actions.

    “This situation must be dealt with entirely by the police.”

    PUP leader Dawn Purvis said: “I would like to add my support for the chief constable.

    “He is correct to use all resources available to him to bring these people to justice and should be free to do so without political interference.”

    Antrim PUP councillor Ken Wilkinson, who knows the family of one of the pizza delivery men – 19-year-old Anthony Watson – said that his son had been friends with Anthony, who he described as a “really, really quiet boy”.

    “On Saturday, I was at the funeral of ex-UDA prisoner Raymond Miller and there were representatives from all sides of the community standing shoulder-to-shoulder,” he said.

    “I thought, ‘Look how far we’ve moved on’.

    “Little did I know that hours later we’d be looking at two murders and four injured.

    “We don’t need to go back to those days and I am appealing for calm and for anyone with information to go to police.”

  • observer

    this aint pleasant, but i predict that the PIRA will go after the RIRA.

    that is my guess as to what will happen next.

  • LURIG

    Indeed Alan I have seen those comments from certain Loyalist politicians and welcome them totally. It is good responsible leadership BUT the hectoring speeches from certain DUP elements are worrying me. They seem to be harking back to the old stereotypical bigoted nonsense that they are reknowned for. Many a Loyalist paramilitary has said that they went to jail on the words and rhetoric of Unionist firebrands. Instead of providing leadership some DUP members are stirring the pot. Will they not be happy until a Catholic pub or high profile Republican is taken out?

  • Scooby

    This is depressing. We can’t go through this again. We just can’t.

  • NCM

    Clearly the guys behind these attacks want there to be a retaliatory spiral of violence leading to general conflict. They may find they seriously misjudged their fellow countrymen on all sides.

  • Objectivist

    I think both governments should take the bull by the horns and introduce *highly selective* crossborder internment.

  • ed

    observer don’t be a dumb ass with what will the pira attack the rira

  • NCM

    “this aint pleasant, but i predict that the PIRA will go after the RIRA.

    that is my guess as to what will happen next.”

    ***

    I’d like to place €20 on the PIRA for the win, please.

  • Harry Flashman

    Holy Christ LURIG, there you go again, just to let you know the people who are being murdered right now are not victims of your “Bacardi Brigadiers” (a phrase that is a bit played out by you now) but Irish Republicans, got that? Irish Republicans are the people murdering or trying to murder Englishmen, Irishmen, Turks and Poles at this moment.

    If and when the loyalists murder someone you have my cast iron guarantee I will be in among the first to condemn it unequivocally but can you get your head around the utter tastelessness and sheer insensitivity of discussing hypothetical loyalist attacks that haven’t actually happened while the corpse of a victim of Irish Republican gunmen lies still warm on a mortuary slab?

  • Alan

    I think the DUP , including Peter Robinson whilst being robust clearly stated we have moved on and ARE NOT going back.

  • Alan

    Ian Paisley hails Catholic priest for fostering ‘spirit of unity’
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article5877706.ece

  • Lurganite

    Police have been involved in a chase with a car which crashed into a land rover outside my flat, looks like one arrested and possible fatalities, the one arrested looked about 14. I was stopped and asked why I was videoing a fatal incident, asked was I drinking and had the car searched.
    The car was chased past me and turned onto the Tandrgee rd (about a mile from the shooting)it crashed into a land rover and I heard police shouting “hands behind your back” the ambulance is still there so looks like a fatality/fatalities.

    Wild night indeed.

  • Harry Flashman

    Keep us posted Lurganite, is the police chase linked to the earlier shooting do you think or could it be a joy-rider?

  • Gregory

    “They may find they seriously misjudged their fellow countrymen on all sides.”

    How many do they have to misjudge?

    There are people who are unhappy, and in the past that’s been enough, they don’t actually need support.

    Why did they kill soldiers and policemen in the 1970s. Did anybody ask them to do it?

    There you go

    Gregory

  • Gregory

    “I think both governments should take the bull by the horns and introduce *highly selective* crossborder internment.”

    and we could search every Catholic house in Lurgan to find them, and bring back the FRU in ‘highly selective mode’.

    Sounds like a plan.

    Gregory

  • Artie

    How long before loyalists hit back? Or will they restrain from doing anything?

  • Lurganite

    Not sure Harry, as soon as it crashed there might have been a number of shots fired, as you can imagine I was a bit shaken watching it all unfold. As the cars past me the one being chased was damaged and making a loud noise. Have some video of lad being arrested and the car and landrover surrounded by smoke. The road remains closed.

  • NCM

    Gregory: “Why did they kill soldiers and policemen in the 1970s. Did anybody ask them to do it?”

    So the level of support for an ongoing armed struggle is the same as it was in the 1970s?

  • Harry Flashman

    The BBC News website is asking anyone in the area to contact them if they have any reports you should get in touch, sounds like they could use your video footage.

  • LURIG

    Flashman

    I am old enough to know how these things work so don’t lecture or patronise me. I totally condemn this incident but equally have the right to condemn inflammatory language from Unionists too. They have sent many a young Protestant to jail who killed Catholics after firebrand words. I have listened to certain DUP members tonight and undoubtedly they are stirring the pot. DON’T come on here and give me your speeches buddy. I have lived through and experienced most of the past 40 years.

  • picador

    Sounds like a wild night indeed.

    I hope that the wounded policeman makes a speedy recovery.

  • Harry Flashman

    Yes LURIG and I am old enough to know your game, when one side does something wrong instead of condemning it and leaving it at that the big “BUT” comes into play and a long spiel follows about how it’s really all themmun’s fault so it is.

    Right now it’s Irish Republicans who are being the dirt bags, what unionist politicians say or don’t say (and I haven’t heard anything inflammatory so far) does not even come remotely close to what Republicans are actually doing right now at this moment.

    Try to get a bit of perspective a politician making a statement is not the moral equivalent of blowing a man’s head off, understand?

  • pól

    Harry,

    Talk about tarring everyone with the same brush! Right now, a few dissident Irish Republicans are being dirtbags, and don’t have any support from the vast majority of Republicans. Making sweeping statements about “themmuns” at a time like this is childish and inflammatory.

  • Anonymous

    Bickering amongst ourselves, in any form, gives them exactly what they want.

  • picador

    ‘Retaliation’ is not inevitable.

    However if you keep wishing for it – and talking it up – you might just get it. A self-fulfilling prophecy if you like.

    Some people find attraction in being a victim. I don’t. I’m gonna get off my ass and protest against these goons on Wednesday. I urge everyone else to do the same.

  • Anonymous

    picador,

    I plan to be there with many of my friends, I hope it starts before 1pm though, I have to catch a plane.

  • NCM

    Why doesn’t everyone have a beer and just get along… THAT should have been part of the GFA.

  • Lurganite – thanks for the heads up.

    Folks, the best way to make our feelings clear is on the streets on Wednesday.

  • LURIG

    I HAVE condemned all these attacks WITHOUT reservation, they serve NO purpose but heartbreak and misery for the families AND further NO cause. I have listened to most of the commentary over the last 48 hours and have to give credit to the parties. However tonight I got the impression that sinister agendas were coming to play and that certain Unionist elements are trying to drag Sinn Fein and the Provos into this for their own reasons. That in turn is bound to stir up Loyalists who have taken their cue from Unionist politicians in the past. I have to give credit to Reg Empey and Peter Robinson who have been very guarded and measured in their comments, others within the DUP are certainly beginning to mix it.

  • Harry Flashman

    No Pol it is LURIG who has consistently been childish and inflammatory. Since the Antrim shooting he has been banging on about Unionists and Loyalists and what they may or may not do in the future thus blowing a big smokescreen over what Irish Republicans are actually doing right now, that’s what I mean by my “it’s all themmuns’ fault so it is” comment.

    It’s a convenient tactic and not restricted to Republicans by the way Loyalists do it too;

    “Aye it’s wile I s’pose, an’ I condemn it lik’ BUT what about themmuns’? They’re worse so they are!”.

    It’s sickening and I’ll call it out when I see it.

  • Lurganite

    Emailed the BBC they’re interested in the video, now if only I could find the lead to upload it (:

  • Gregory

    “So the level of support for an ongoing armed struggle is the same as it was in the 1970s?”

    The Catholics wanted defenderism, and the IRA exploited that.

    I don’t think ‘Catholics’ figured ( 69/70) on murdering soldiers as a solution to anything.

    The British army could see what was coming, and were preemptively obnoxious.

    Falls curew and etc.

    Gregory

  • not impressed

    #

    This is totally disgusting. As a Nationalist I condemn it in the strongest terms but am getting a bit worried about the comments from certain DUP politicians. They now seem to be resorting to type in lambasting ALL Republicans when this is not the case and obvious nonsense. We know where this dangerous rhetoric can take us and Loyalists don’t usually need an excuse to target innocent Catholics. If the UDA & UVF DO do again murder people they should be condemned to the wilderness forever. I hope that certain Unionists reflect on their words if there is a Loyalist response. I also hope that Mary McAleese and the Irish government cut ALL ties and stop their rounds of golf with the UDA & UVF Bacardi Brigadiers if they kill innocent Catholics again.
    Posted by LURIG on Mar 10, 2009 @ 12:58 AM

    lol…what a comical effort.

    stop the “it’s actually the loyalists fault” bull. it’s getting really tired.

  • pól

    I’ve read the posts Harry, and for what it’s worth I agree with you when you say that the horror of the past few days should not be obscured by speculation on potential retaliation. There haven’t been any statements from loyalist groupings, and nothing bar idle speculation has been reported in the traditional media.

    However, the approach you adopted seemed like the blogging equivalent of internment in the ’70s. Irish Republicans aren’t being scumbags. The majority of those in the public eye, and indeed on pages like these, have wholeheartedly condemned the attacks. Your statement seemed to be condemning ALL republicans to scumbag status.

  • Anonymous

    Is there likely to be more protests of this sort?

    I won’t be able to go to Wednesdays, and I think it is almost unforgivable for there to be one less protester.

  • LURIG

    Flashman

    Now you are sounding ridiculous. I have been totally consistant in my condemnation of these attacks AND I challenge anyone to prove otherwise. I have stated that these dissidents have nothing to offer us BUT I will also not shy away from the comments of others. Tonight on various News channels I have watched certain DUP members trying to drag mainstream Republicans into this and throw enough mud as to stick. That cannot go unchallenged because, as we have seen in the past, this often leads others to actions which result in further loss of life. I will certainly not apologise for suggesting that the Loyalist murder gangs could eventually be drawn in epecially if they listen to some Unionist politicians. That is the way it has been for 40 years.

  • Gregory

    “I also hope that Mary McAleese and the Irish government cut ALL ties and stop their rounds of golf with the UDA & UVF Bacardi Brigadiers if they kill innocent Catholics again.”

    it was a bit of a flawed process, wasn’t it?

    The GFA as a foul arrangement, isn’t an unreasonable perspective,

    Unhelpful maybe, but not unreasonable.

    Gregory

  • Lurganite

    The chase incident is on the news.

    “Later, around 12.20am this morning, there were reports that a black car had been raked with gunfire on the outskirts of Craigavon. There were unconfirmed reports that the car had earlier been rammed by a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) patrol.”

    http://www4.u.tv/news/NationalNews/index.asp?id=162152&sel2=2&local=0

  • Harry Flashman

    Pol fair enough, I wouldn’t want it to be misinterpreted from what I say that I believe all Irish Republicans are guilty, of course not, that would be absurd, Irish Republicanism is a perfectly legitimate political viewpoint but it’s Lurig’s continual “I condemn, yaddayadda yah, BUT the Unionists are the really bad people in all of this”, it’s nauseating.

    Come on Lurganite get your cable sorted out and put the video on the web sounds like you’ve just scored a scoop for citizen journalism.

  • pól

    [i]The chase incident is on the news.

    “Later, around 12.20am this morning, there were reports that a black car had been raked with gunfire on the outskirts of Craigavon. There were unconfirmed reports that the car had earlier been rammed by a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) patrol.”

    http://www4.u.tv/news/NationalNews/index.asp?id=162152&sel2=2&local=0 [/i]

    Anyone know if UTV always lift their reports from the Guardian website?

  • Danny O’Connor

    Pól ,both probably lifted them from PA.
    This is another heinous crime carried out by people who bring shame on the Irish People

  • Richard James

    “I will certainly not apologise for suggesting that the Loyalist murder gangs could eventually be drawn in epecially if they listen to some Unionist politicians.”

    Right Lurig, which Unionist politicians have been calling on Loyalists to go out and commit murders? None, zilch, nadda.

    The only death squads at work are Nationalist ones.

  • Albert

    Who would loyalists go after if they were to seek revenge? Certainly not a random catholic who they would see as a Sinn Fein/IRA supporter. Sinn Fein are condeming the murders along with Unionist politicians. Perhaps they’ll target a 32CSC member, whoever they are.

  • ed

    Who would loyalists go after if they were to seek revenge? Certainly not a random catholic who they would see as a Sinn Fein/IRA supporter. Sinn Fein are condeming the murders along with Unionist politicians. Perhaps they’ll target a 32CSC member, whoever they are.

    Posted by Albert

    the hard men of unionism are more into soft targets infact the softer the better. So any “irish looking” middle aged slightly inebriated men or teen age boys had best be careful walking down a dark street if they see a car full of “hard” men approaching

  • SGC

    EDWARD HEATHCOAT AMORY: What the weasel words of Gerry Adams really mean
    I anyone is interested in a piece of good analysis in the Daily Mail about the Sinn Fein leader thoughts on what is happening they should read

    A brilliant analysis of the Sinn Fein leader it is typical of the thinking of the Republican movement. I think the Government instead of using mealy mouthed words needs to stand back and make decisions to protect all the people of Northern Ireland whether they are members of the security forces or the general public we deserve it.

    The scum who executed the two British soldiers and also seriously injured soldiers and civilians in Antrim and who executed the Police officer in Craigavon and injured another last night have nothing to offer the people of Northern Ireland and should be treated not as criminals as the Secretary of State said in Parliament yesterday they are terrorists, perhaps it is time for the UK government to call a spade a spade and not use words that mean nothing to the good people of the UK and in Northern Ireland in particular.

    My condolences go to the families of the British soldiers who were a soft target for this scum and also to the family of the Police Officer my thought and prayers are will all I am so sorry it was not done in my name.

  • Max

    What a grim few days. What next on their tick list? A big bomb, attacks on civilians? In the past the Provo’s would have tugged this lot into line, is the ‘peace’ here strong enough for the authorities to take such a step? Not sure.

    Very saddened by this and feel really sorry for another family having to deal with the whims of people who oppose democracy.

  • Mike (the original one…my name has just been ‘re

    Horrific and tragic news of the latest murder. Let’s hope these fascist thugs are caught and jailed very soon.

    SGC

    “The scum who executed the two British soldiers and also seriously injured soldiers and civilians in Antrim and who executed the Police officer in Craigavon and injured another last night have nothing to offer the people of Northern Ireland and should be treated not as criminals as the Secretary of State said in Parliament yesterday they are terrorists”

    Terrorists are a particular brand of criminal.

  • RG Cuan

    The policeman’s name has just been released. His surname is Carroll. If he is a Catholic it could really act against the dissidents.

  • plainly speaking

    There’s been a deafening silence over an aspect of the Massarene attack, the fact that one of the victims/targets is apparently a Polish national. We have seen a surge in immigration to Ireland from eastern Europe in the past few years and we have the utmost respect for these hard working immigrants. How deeply shocking it is to learn that this young man, out working on a Saturday night trying to provide for his wife and infant child, is deliberately gunned down and seriously injured in the cause of so-called Irish republicanism.

    The words of another Polish national spring to mind … “On my knees I beg you to turn away from the path of violence”.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with this young man and his family, that he’ll pull through together with the other injured victims of Saturday nights attack.

  • Continental Drifter

    RG CUAN

    Precisely the opposite, I’m afraid – it was always a standard Republican tactic to kill Catholics who did things they didn’t approve of.

  • Continental Drifter

    PLAINLY

    Actually it’s quite commonly been referenced that one of the victims was a Polish national.

    Don’t see what difference it makes personally – an innocent victim is an innocent victim.

    CD

  • plainly speaking

    I agree, but in the long run it might make a difference to the electoral role and the way the sizeable immigrant community votes in local and European elections.

  • plainly speaking

    CD
    I agree, but in the long run it might make a difference to the electoral role and the way the sizeable immigrant community votes in local and European elections.

  • moggy

    The continuity has claimed the latest, according to the press association, and the bbc

  • Suilven

    RG CUAN

    ‘If he is a Catholic it could really act against the dissidents.’

    Why should this matter? Are nationalists really such bigots that it’ll be brushed under the carpet if he’s only one of ‘themmuns’? On second thoughts, don’t bother answering.

  • Gaz

    CIRA: “as long as there is British involvement in Ireland, attacks will continue.” (Sky News)

  • ABC

    LURIG

    What about condmening the murder of a police man before snide attacks on others?

  • sj1

    Last night the BBC believed the reals were looking for attention:

    Dissident republicans are groups that are not particularly structured, and don’t have a strong leadership and they tend to be disparate pockets of paramilitaries who work independently and sometimes together

  • Ri Na Deise

    Activise as one people and rally against these lunatics who would divide you. Mass public protests by both communitys against these murders are the way for you to show that Ulster(and all of Ireland) says No to these men of the past.

  • RG Cuan

    SUILVEN

    You know well that 99%+ of nationalists are against these attacks.

    Loyalist graffiti has already appeared in Lurgan stating ‘back to war’. If the policeman turns out to be a member of the wider nationalist community, not only will the little support the killers may have take a hit but if may also mean that loyalists will be less likely to retaliate.

  • al

    Any news on the car that was stopped early this morning? That has gone very quiet considering shots were reported to have been fired

  • Neil

    They’ll be hoping that the policeman was Catholic. They’re stated aim is to target Catholic police men, for two reasons IMO – one to discourage Catholics from joining the cops and two, to embarrass SF by forcing them to decisively get behind the police of the state, and so they hope erode their support.

    Thing is the demographic’s changed for SF over the past few elections. No longer do they need to specifically target working class voters, it’s the middle classes they’re after now, so while they may lose support in say, the Falls or Ardoyne, they may gain it elsewhere as there are plenty of well heeled Catholics who want the peace to work, and further demonstrated support for the police would go down well.

  • Danny

    I read that he was originally from Kildare then moved to England before settling in Co. Down.

  • Earnan

    This is madness.

    Morals aside, I have no idea what these people think they can achieve?????????

    3 young men have lost their life for nothing!

    This world is messed up

  • skinbop

    Reading these comments I am actually glad that these blogs were not around during the troubles. I have never read some much tripe in all my days. Someone please stick the kettle on for LURID(sic).

  • ?!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7938467.stm

    “On Monday, the Army’s most senior soldier in Northern Ireland, Brigadier George Norton, praised the guards, saying it would have been inappropriate for them to fire into “a closely packed group including my five soldiers”.

    Two were killed – what were the other three doing in this tragedy?

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