UK to pull 400 troops from Ulster
BRITAIN said yesterday it was pulling 400 troops out of Northern Ireland in response to a six-month terrorist cease-fire which has raised hopes of a permanent settlement to the 25-year conflict.
Northern Ireland Secretary Sir Patrick Mayhew said the biggest withdrawal of troops from the province since the conflict began was possible because of 'the improved security situation and is a further step towards normality'.
He said a regiment would be withdrawn to barracks in Britain, but would remain on standby in case Ulster's political and sectarian conflict flared again.
The decision was announced against a background of renewed international efforts to get the IRA and its Loyalist foes to surrender hundreds of tonnes of weapons.