All those killed on Bloody Sunday were innocent, the Saville Report has ruled.
Thirteen marchers were shot dead on 30 January 1972 in Londonderry when British paratroopers opened fire on crowds at a civil rights demonstration.
Fourteen others were wounded, one of whom later died.
A huge cheer erupted in Guildhall Square in Derry as Prime Minister David Cameron delivered the findings which unequivocally blamed the Army.
The report said that the Army fired the first shot of the day in one of the most controversial state killings in the Northern Ireland conflict.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Cameron said what happened on Bloody Sunday was unjustifiable and wrong. He said his government and the country were "deeply sorry".Army fired first shot
Mr Cameron said:
- No warning had been given to any civilians before the soldiers opened fire.
- None of the soldiers fired in response to attacks by petrol bombers or stone throwers
- Some of those killed or injured were clearly fleeing or going to help those injured or dying
- None of the casualties was posing a threat .... or doing anything that would justify their shooting
- There was no point in trying to soften or equivocate - the events of Bloody Sunday were not justified
- Many of the soldiers lied about their actions
- What happened should never, ever have happened
- Some members of the British armed forces acted wrongly
- On behalf of the government and the country, he said he was "deeply sorry".
The report was commissioned in 1998 by the then Prime Minister Tony Blair under the auspices of former High Court judge, Lord Saville of Newdigate.
The Saville Inquiry took witness statements from hundreds of people and has become the longest-running and most expensive in British history.
It closed in 2004 with the report initially due for publication the following year.
It cost £195m and took 12 years to complete.
The Saville Report was made available to the families and their lawyers in closed sessions in Derry's Guildhall earlier on Tuesday.
Thousands of people are gathered outside the Guildhall to watch Prime Minister David Cameron deliver the report to Parliament on a huge screen.
Earlier, crowds retraced the steps of the original marchers from the Bloody Sunday memorial in the city's Bogside close to the spot where many of the victims died.
According to BBC NI political editor Mark Devenport, while it may not have been the bloodiest day in the history of the Troubles, "the significance of that day in shaping the course of the conflict cannot be overstated".
"The actions of the Parachute Regiment in shooting dead 13 unarmed civil rights protesters immeasurably strengthened Irish republicans' arguments within their own community and provided the Provisional IRA with a flood of fresh recruits for its long war," he said.
Our correspondent also said Bloody Sunday set in train the suspension of the Northern Ireland government in March 1972, which led to the decades of direct rule from London.
The full process of restoring devolution was only completed in 2010.
An inquiry chaired by Lord Widgery was held in the immediate aftermath of the killings but it failed to satisfy families of the victims.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010
BBC News - Bloody Sunday report states those killed were innocent