An assault rifle used in seven unsolved killings during the Northern Irish Troubles has been found in a public display case in London’s Imperial War Museum.
The VZ58 assault rifle, which is of Czech manufacture and outwardly resembles the iconic Kalashnikov, was used in the 1992 killings of five Catholics, including one 15-year-old, at a betting shop in Belfast.
It has also been linked with the killing of two men in 1988.
Families of those murdered have spoken of their shock at discovering the missing rifle’s location, having been told by Northern Irish police that the weapon had been “disposed of.”
Billy McManus, whose father was killed in the betting shop attack, told the Times newspaper: “I am absolutely shocked that a gun connected with so many deaths was there on display for anyone to come and see at the Imperial War Museum in London.
“It should be here in a secure place so that it can be used for ballistics.”
“Why would somebody let something so important be shipped to England to be put on display? What does that say about their treatment of the case? They just don’t care.”