BELFAST, April 18 (Reuters) - A prominent dissident Irish republican was shot dead in Northern Ireland on Friday, the latest incident in some of the highest levels of violence since a 1998 peace deal in the British province.
Northern Ireland has been largely peaceful since the "Good Friday" agreement largely ended more than three decades of sectarian violence but there are sporadic outbreaks of violence, particularly in the last 18 months.
Tommy Crossan, a leading opponent of the peace deal, was shot on Friday afternoon in west Belfast and died at the scene.
More than 3,600 people died in sectarian strife between mainly Catholic Irish nationalists, seeking union with Ireland, and predominantly Protestant unionists who want to remain part of the United Kingdom.
The peace has remained largely unbroken but the province suffers regular tensions between the communities and small groups of dissidents opposed to the agreement still commit sporadic acts of violence. (Reporting by Maurice Neill; Editing by Sam Cage)