A man suspected of involvement in the Real IRA faction's killing of two British soldiers in Northern Ireland in 2009 has been acquitted of murder charges after a judge dismissed the forensic evidence and ruled he was too feeble to have played a role.

The judge ruled that Brian Shivers' cystic fibrosis made him an unlikely member of the gun gang that killed the unarmed soldiers, and wounded six other people, as they collected pizzas outside their base.

They were the first military personnel killed in Northern Ireland since 1997, when most Irish Republican Army members declared a cease-fire. Friday's verdict means nobody has been convicted of the killings.

The 47-year-old Shivers was originally convicted of the murders last year but won the right to a retrial on appeal.