A 65-year old man has been arrested in Belfast with suspicion of his involvement in 1974 Birmingham pub bombings, which had killed 21 people.

The arrest came after a joint police operation by the West Midlands police’s counter-terrorism policing unit and detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

“A man has been arrested in connection with inquiries into the murders of 21 people in the 1974 pub bombings in Birmingham,” a statement from the West Midlands police said.

“Officers from Counter Terrorism Policing West Midlands CTU, working with colleagues from the Police Service of Northern Ireland, arrested a 65-year-old man at his home in Belfast today,” it said.

“The man was arrested under the Terrorism Act and a search of his home is being carried out. He will be interviewed under caution at a police station in Northern Ireland.”

Two explosions, ten minutes apart, in Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town pubs in Birmingham city center killed a total of 21 people and injured more than 180 others on the evening of Nov. 21, 1974.

Six men were charged and jailed for the atrocity which was carried out by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) – a sectarian terrorist group which ended its campaign with 1998 Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

The jail term of the group – known as The Birmingham Six – was quashed in 1991 after 16 years behind the bars and the West Midland Police launched a new investigation.

An inquest found in 2019 that 21 people were killed unlawfully in the bombings.

The IRA was responsible for numerous of deaths in their campaign, which aimed to end British rule in Northern Ireland and to unify the region with Ireland.

Their attacks included a deadly bomb attack in October 1984, targeting a Conservative Party conference at a Brighton hotel in which then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was also staying.

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