BELFAST, Ire.--Britain offered to withdraw its troops from Belfast's battle-ravaged Lenadoon area Monday if Roman Catholics persuaded Irish Republican Army gunmen to get out.
Most of Lenadoon's 6000 residents marched away from their homes in protest against the British military presence they said made the area a battleground. Most of the evacuees have stayed away.
A spokesman said the army had moved into the Lenadoon area only after four days and nights of IRA attacks on security forces.
If community leaders persuaded the IRA not to use Lenadoon for attacks British troops would be progressively withdrawn, the spokesman said. The IRA said earlier it would not agree to a ceasefire.
A bombing wave which the IRA has said aims at wrecking Londonderry's economy also roared on. Bombs blasted a fertilizer factory in the IRA-controlled Catholic bogside district, a barricaded area closed off to the army and police, and a downtown wholesale grocery. In both cases gunmen who planted the bombs gave warning and there were no casualties.