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|Sunday, August 13, 2000, updated at 11:32(GMT+8)|
Thousands Attend Protestant Parade in Northern IrelandThousands of members of the Protestant Apprentice Boys group in Londonderry Saturday celebrated one of the biggest events in the Protestant marching calendar amid tight security.
The parade passed off without major incident, despite an earlier bomb alert which closed a railway line leading to the Northern Irish city of Londonderry.
The march, featuring about 15,000 Apprentice boys and supporters as well as 170 bands, went ahead after the two sides in the city struck a deal earlier in the week.
Rival nationalists and loyalists heckled each other during the parade.
The march came a day after 227 kilograms of explosives were made safe after a vehicle crashed through a checkpoint in the center of Londonderry. It was later found abandoned in Donegal.
The police said they believed the explosives were planned for the city.
There have been a number of discoveries of explosives linked with the dissidents who are opposed to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and the current political process in Northern Ireland.
A bomb alert on the railway line hampered trains carrying hundreds of march participants bound for Londonderry and alternative arrangements had to be made.
The Apprentice Boys demonstrate every August to commemorate the Relief of Derry from the forces of the Catholic King James II in 1689.
The Parades Commission in Northern Ireland imposed restrictions on a number of Apprentice Boys feeder parades on Saturday.
The commission also placed route restrictions on an Orange Order parade in Portadown, County Armagh, on Sunday, and some conditions on a nationalist march in Lurgan on Friday.
The Northern Ireland Parades Commission was established in 1997 to determine whether conditions should be placed on contentious parades in Northern Ireland.
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