Northern Ireland celebrates 50 years of Bloody Sunday

LONDON — Relatives of those killed and injured on Bloody Sunday marched in Northern Ireland to mark 50 years since one of the deadliest days in the conflict known as The Troubles.

Thirteen people were killed and 15 others injured when British soldiers fired on civil rights protesters on January 30, 1972, in the city of Derry, also known as Londonderry.

Hundreds of people turned up at the Bloody Sunday Monument on Sunday for the annual memorial service and wreath laying ceremony.

The UK government apologized in 2010 after an official investigation found soldiers wantonly fired on fleeing unarmed civilians and then lied about it for decades. The report refuted an initial investigation which took place shortly after the killings which said the soldiers defended themselves against bombers and Irish Republican Army gunmen.

A former British soldier was charged in 2019 with the murder of two of the protesters and the wounding of four others.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament on Wednesday that Bloody Sunday was “one of the darkest days in our history” and that the country “must learn from the past”.

Irish President Michael D. Higgins is expected to deliver a message to affected families later on Sunday.