LONDON: British prime minister David Cameron apologized on behalf of his country Tuesday for the 1972 slaughter of 13 Catholic demonstrators in the Northern Ireland town of Londonderry, an outrage that became known as "Bloody Sunday."
In a solemn statement to the British House of Commons, Cameron said that a mammoth, 12-year investigation into the killings left no doubt that the soldiers confronting crowds of Catholic demonstrators in Londonderry's hard-line Bogside district mowed down unarmed protesters without provocation.
"What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong," Cameron said, as a crowd watching him from Londonderry burst into cheers and applause.
Cameron prefaced his remarks by saying he was a patriot and a strong supporter of the British Army, but said "you do not defend the British Army by defending the indefensible."
He said the 190 million pound ($280 million) report contained "shocking conclusions to read" and that he was "deeply sorry" for what happened.