woman killed in n ireland terror incident

Woman killed in N Ireland ‘terror incident’

Europe
Lyra McKee
Image caption Journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead in Londonderry

A journalist has been shot dead during violence in Londonderry that police are treating as a “terrorist incident”.

Dissident republicans are being blamed for killing 29-year-old Lyra McKee during rioting after police searches in Derry’s Creggan area on Thursday night.

Petrol bombs were also thrown at police Land Rovers.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said the New IRA “are likely to be the ones behind this” and detectives have started a murder inquiry.

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Media captionLyra McKee’s murder was a horrendous act, says PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton

“At around 23:00 BST last night a gunman appeared and fired a number of shots towards the police,” he added.

“Lyra McKee, a young woman at 29 years old, was wounded.

“She was taken away from the scene in a police land rover to Altnagelvin Hospital but unfortunately she has died.”

The violence broke out after police raids on houses in the Mulroy Park and Galliagh areas.

“Violent dissident republicans are planning attacks in this city and we were carrying out a search operation in Creggan,” said Mr Hamilton.

“We were looking for firearms that may have been used over the Easter weekend.”

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Media captionIt is understood police were attacked after carrying out searches in the Creggan area of Londonderry. Footage courtesy of Leona O’Neill

Rioting began at Fanad Drive in the city and more than 50 petrol bombs were thrown at police and two vehicles hijacked and set on fire.

“I believe that this was orchestrated – orchestrated to a point that they just want to have violence and attack police,” said Mr Hamilton.

“Bringing a firearm out is a calculated and callous act.”

Image copyright PA

One reporter who was at the scene said a gunman “came round the corner and fired shots indiscriminately towards police vehicles”.

“There were a number of houses with families – they had all spilled out on the street to see what was happening,” added Leona O’Neill.

“There were young people, there were children on the street, there were teenagers milling about and a gunman just fired indiscriminately up the street.”

Sinn Féin’s vice-president Michelle O’Neill said she was “shocked and saddened at the tragic news”, adding: “I unreservedly condemn those responsible for killing this young woman.”

DUP leader Arlene Foster tweeted: “Heartbreaking news. A senseless act. A family has been torn apart.”

The SDLP’s Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan tweeted: “Just leaving Creggan, heartbroken and angry at the senseless loss of a young life.

“Violence only creates victims, that’s all it ever has done. The thoughts and prayers of our city are with the young woman’s family and friends, may she rest in peace.”