Belfast, April 19
An off-duty journalist was killed after shots were fired during rioting in the Northern Irish city of Londonderry overnight, in what police on Friday said was likely the work of militant nationalists opposed to the British region’s 1998 peace deal.
Rioting erupted in the Irish nationalist Creggan area of the city late on Thursday following a raid by police, who said they were trying to prevent militant attacks planned for the weekend.
At least 50 petrol bombs were thrown and two cars set on fire. “Unfortunately at 11 o’clock last night a gunman appeared and fired a number of shots towards the police and a young woman, Lyra McKee (29), was wounded” and later died, Police Service of Northern Ireland Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton told journalists on Friday. He said police were treating the incident as a terrorist attack and had opened a murder inquiry.
“We believe this to be a terrorist act. We believe this has been carried out by violent dissident republicans,” Hamilton added, saying the New IRA group, which has been responsible for several attacks in recent years, was most likely behind the killing.
McKee was writing a book on the disappearance of young people during three decades of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, which ended with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement peace deal. She was described by publisher Faber as a rising star of investigative journalism. The police said they did not believe she was working at the time of the attack.— Reuters
Was writing a book
Lyra McKee was writing a book on the disappearance of young people during three decades of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, which ended with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement peace deal