Britain’s Northern Secretary has come under fire after claiming killings carried out by the security forces during the Troubles were not crimes.
Karen Bradley said it was simply people carrying out their duties in a dignified and appropriate way.
The controversial comments come a week before the Public Prosecution Service is to decide on whether soldiers involved in the Bloody Sunday killings will face prosecution.
Mrs Bradley made the statement in Westminister earlier: “Over 90% of the killings during the Troubles were at the hands of terrorists; every single one of those was a crime.
“The fewer than 10% that were at the hands of the military and police were not crimes.
“They were people acting under orders and instruction and fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way.”
Sinn Fein has described the comments as outrageous and offensive. Mrs Bradley later clarified her statement in a point of order before the Commons.
She said: “At oral questions, I referred to deaths during the troubles caused by members of the security forces.
“The point I was seeking to convey was that the overwhelming majority of those who served carried out their duties with courage professionalism integrity and within the law.
“I was not referring to any specific cases but expressing a general view.
“Of course, where there is evidence of wrongdoing it should always be investigated, whoever is responsible. These are of course matters for the police and prosecuting authorities who are independent of governments.”