"Soldier F" will be charged with two murders and four attempted murders during a civil rights march in Londonderry in January 1972 when 13 demonstrators were killed and 15 wounded. One died later from a tumour. Stephen Herron, director of Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service, said Soldier F would be prosecuted "for the murder of James Wray and William McKinney, and for the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O'Donnell".
A British soldier leads a protester away on what was to be dubbed Bloody Sunday (Image: THOPSON)
He added: "In respect of the other 18 suspects, including 16 former soldiers and two alleged Official IRA members, it has been concluded that the available evidence is insufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction."
In 2000, Lord Saville began a public inquiry into the killings. A decade later, his report concluded that the victims had not posed a threat to the soldiers of the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment, who insisted they had come under fire.
After yesterday's long-awaited announcement over Soldier F, a lance corporal, families of the victims reacted with disappointment that more of his comrades were not to be tried.
But military veterans are angered by double standards where IRA suspects thought to be behind the killings of British soldiers, police and civilians were given letters guaranteeing they will not stand trial while ex-soldiers face prosecution.
Unjust...Alan Barry (right) (Image: Yui Mok/ PA Wire)
The commander of the troops on Bloody Sunday, Lieutenant Colonel Derek Wilford, said: "I don't believe they were capable of that sort of indiscriminate shooting and killing."
Alan Barry, founder of Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans, said: "Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement veterans are being left open to prosecution while terrorists have been cleansed of their past crimes."
Five British soldiers now face trial over killings in Northern Ireland. More than 200 other cases involving British soldiers are under review.
Failings...Johnny Mercer (Image: Stefan Rousseau)
Tory MP Johnny Mercer, a former Army officer, tweeted that the charges brought against Soldier F were the result of "an abject failure to govern and legislate, on our watch as a Conservative administration".
The victims' families had hoped for multiple charges to be brought against