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Verdict due in trial over murder of Northern Ireland-based soldiers

Judgement in the six-week-long Massereene trial is due later today.

The coffins of Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey leave the barracks days after their murder.
The coffins of Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey leave the barracks days after their murder.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A VERDICT IS due today in the trial of two men accused of the murder of two British soldiers killed at their barracks in Antrim two years ago.

Two men are charged with shooting dead 23-year-old Mark Quinsey and 21-year-old Patrick Azmikar on 7 March 2009.

Colin Duffy, 44 and Brian Shivers,46, also face charges of murder and several charges of attempted murder. BBC reports that both men have denied all charges, including those relating to the possession of guns and explosives.

A number of other people were wounded, including two delivery men who were bringing pizza to the soldiers at the time of the attack.

The soldiers’ unit were due to be deployed to Afghanistan the day after they were killed.

During the six-week trial, the court heard that the gunmen shot the soldiers when they were on the ground to ensure they were dead. Throughout the trial, CCTV footage was shown to judge Anthony Hart and an audio file of the 999 call played.

More than 60 shots were fired at about 9.40pm on the night of the murder. Four soldiers, two security guards and two delivery men were also shot but they survived their injuries.

A getaway car was found abandoned seven miles from the scene and DNA tests linked some items found in the vehicle to the men standing trial.

A latex glove tip was linked to Duffy, while Shivers’ DNA was found on a matchstick and a mobile phone, the court was told.

The non-jury trial ended last month but judgement was reserved until today.

U.TV reports that the gun attack was claimed by the Real IRA just two days after PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde warned that the threat from dissident republicans had reached a critical level in the area.

Read: Massereene trial shown CCTV footage of attack>

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