Graffiti at the Derry corner in Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Graffiti at the Derry corner in Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: Woman killed during riots, police dubs it 'terrorist incident'

ANI | Updated: Apr 19, 2019 14:22 IST

London [UK], Apr 19 (ANI): A woman was shot dead during riots in the city of Londonderry in Northern Ireland on Thursday night, the police said on Friday while dubbing the killing a “terrorist incident”.
“Sadly I can confirm that following shots being fired tonight in Creggan, a 29-year-old woman has been killed. We are treating this as a terrorist incident and we have launched a murder enquiry,” Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton tweeted.
Quoting the police, CNN reported that the Dissident republicans or the Irish Republican Army (IRA), revolutionaries who do not support the current peace agreements in Northern Ireland, are suspected to be responsible for the death of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee.
McKee, born in Belfast, had written for many publication houses, including The Atlantic and Buzzfeed News.
In 2016, she was named as one of Forbes Magazine's 30 under 30 in media in Europe, CNN reported.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organisation, said that McKee is the first journalist to be killed in the United Kingdom since 2001.
Addressing the media at a conference on Friday morning, Hamilton noted that the murder of McKee was "horrendous and unjustified."
"We are treating this as a terrorist incident and we have launched a murder enquiry," Hamilton said.
The city of Londonderry, which is referred to by pro-Irish nationalists as Derry, is located close to the border with the Republic of Ireland.
Violence was orchestrated on Thursday ahead of the Easter weekend, during which the Republicans mark the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, considered among the most important dates in the struggle for Irish independence.
Hamilton said that a crowd gathered after 9 p.m. and over 50 petrol bombs were thrown at officers during the "orchestrated violence." Two vehicles were hijacked and set on fire, he added.
"Police didn't use any force last night. All the violence was directed towards us," Hamilton said.
Around 11 p.m., there were around 100 people in the area, including young people and members of the media. The gunman fired a number of shots, Hamilton said.
"The shock over what happened here in this city last night is hanging heavy over the entire community today," said Hamilton.
"As we move into the Easter weekend I would appeal for calm and ask everyone with influence in the community to work together to ensure there are no further acts of violence."
Sinn Fein party deputy leader, Michelle O'Neill, condemned those responsible for the death of McKee, describing it as "a senseless loss of life."
"I am shocked and saddened at the tragic news that a young woman has been shot dead by so-called dissidents in the Creggan estate tonight," said O'Neill.
"The murder of this young woman is a human tragedy for her family, but it is also an attack on all the people of this community, an attack on our peace process and an attack on the Good Friday Agreement," he added.
The Democratic Unionist party leader, Arlene Foster, tweeted: "Heartbreaking news. A senseless act. A family has been torn apart. Those who brought guns onto our streets in the 70s, 80s and 90s were wrong. It is equally wrong in 2019. No one wants to go back. My thoughts are also with the brave officers who stood in defence of their community." (ANI)