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epa07447787 (26/28) A general view on a mural commemorating the victims of the Bloody Sunday, in January 1972 on a building in the Republican area of Bogside, a neighborhood outside the city walls, in Londonderry in Northern Ireland, Britain, 28 February 2019. In 1969 a battle against the RUC and local Protestants known as the 'Battle of the Bogside' became a starting point of the Troubles. On maps of Ireland, a line cuts across the north of the island like a scar, dividing Northern Ireland from the larger Republic of Ireland. That line is both physical and symbolic, signaling the geographic separation of two countries as well as their historical, social and religious differences. The reality of the Irish border is complex. Today, it is no longer a ‘hard' border, though crossings are littered with rusting customs posts from another time. Often a change in road markings or the color of the tarmac are the only indicators that you have crossed into another country. It is possible to drive along a road and cross the border two or three times without even knowing it..The border, which stretches 499 kilometers (310 miles), was established in 1921 by the Anglo-Irish Treaty whereby 26 Catholic counties were granted autonomous status as the Republic of Ireland and six northern counties, inhabited mostly by Protestants loyal to the British monarchy, remained within the UK as Northern Ireland. The division of the island and the discrimination of the Catholic population in Northern Ireland led to a conflict between republican militias, mostly Catholics calling for union with the rest of the island, and unionist paramilitaries from largely Protestant areas who wanted to remain part of the UK. Decades of political violence, known as The Troubles, which began in the late 1960s and continued until the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, cost the lives of more than 3,000 people. After the signing of the international peace deal, bloodshed fell considerably, bringing a
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