By James Bryce
AN INFAMOUS IRA bomb plot on the Rock in 1988 could have killed 100 people, Wikileaks cables have revealed.
The memo – sent by the American Embassy in London to staff in Washington – revealed that British security forces had thwarted a planned bombing of a public square in Gibraltar.
“It has been estimated that, had the bombing occurred according to the IRA’s plans, more than one hundred persons could have been killed and many others injured, most of them civilian bystanders and tourists,” the cable states.
The plan was foiled after suspected terrorists Danny McCann, Sean Savage and Mairead Farrell were controversially shot dead by the SAS despite being unarmed.
A car used by the bombers was found parked near a parade ground two days later containing 140Ib of Semtex, with a device timed to go off during the changing of the guard.
The terrorists’ target was the band and guard of the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, which had recently arrived in Gibraltar following a tour of duty in Northern Ireland.