The MoD’s move followed the sending of a letter by solicitors for the families to the prime minister, asking what he was going to do about Bloody Sunday. He described the killings as unjustified and unjustifiable.
An MoD spokesman said: “We acknowledge the pain felt by these families for nearly 40 years, and that members of the armed forces acted wrongly. For that, the government is deeply sorry.
“We are in contact with the families’ solicitors and where there is a legal liability to pay compensation we will do so.”
Defining who would be eligible for compensation could be complicated as many immediate family members are dead. Relatives have already received a small payment from the MoD without it admitting liability many years ago.