UK police hold man over 1974 pub bombings

Isobel Frodsham
·1-min read

British police have arrested a man in connection with the deaths of 21 people in the 1974 pub bombings in the central English city of Birmingham.

A 65-year-old man was taken into custody by counter-terrorism police at his home in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Wednesday, police in West Midlands said.

His home is being searched and he will be interviewed at a police station in Northern Ireland.

Twenty-one people died and 220 people were injured after blasts were set off at the Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town pubs on November 21, 1974.

A group of Irishmen, known as the Birmingham Six, were jailed for life in 1975 over the bombings but the convictions were quashed on appeal in 1991, prompting the men to be released.

In April last year, an inquest jury concluded a warning call to a newspaper office, which gave incorrect locations of where the bombs were being set off, cost the police "valuable minutes" to save the lives of the victims and ultimately contributed to their deaths or injuries.

Although the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) was believed to have planted the explosives, it never claimed responsibility.

The blasts caused the biggest loss of life on the British mainland during the 30 years of conflict between mostly Catholic nationalists, who favoured Northern Ireland's unification with the Republic of Ireland, and Protestants wanting to stay in the United Kingdom.

Last month, British Home Secretary Priti Patel said she would consider holding a public inquiry into the bombings.