'Nothing short of attempted murder': Footage captures moment a petrol bomb thrower chases down someone fleeing from Northern Irish riot

An image has been widely circulated online showing a person armed with a flaming petrol bomb chasing down his potential victim.
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Purportedly taken in Londonderry city during this evening’s outburst of republican rioting, it shows the figure fling the petrol bomb at the escaping individual, which then explodes at their feet.

They appear to escape without catching fire.

The clip, taken from someone in a car, was shared by Northern Ireland news photographer Kevin Scott, who identified the fleeing figure as an unnamed journalist.

The above frame shows the pursuer in the act of throwing the petrol bomb at the target (fleeing across the road, right). The below frame shows it bursting at the target's fettThe above frame shows the pursuer in the act of throwing the petrol bomb at the target (fleeing across the road, right). The below frame shows it bursting at the target's fett
The above frame shows the pursuer in the act of throwing the petrol bomb at the target (fleeing across the road, right). The below frame shows it bursting at the target's fett
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"This is nothing short of attempted murder,” he wrote on Twitter.

"A petrol bomb is thrown at a journalist as they flee a dissident Easter commemoration in Derry this afternoon.

"When police didn't attend the event, masked youths decided the next target would be the media.”

Other footage online from Mr Scott showed a van burning on Central Drive, a long north-south road in the middle of the Creggan estate, in the south-west of Londonderry.

A young man carrying petrol bombs in his trouser pockets at the start of an Easter Monday parade in the Creggan area of Londonderry, commemorating the anniversary of the Easter Rising Rebellion of 1916. Picture date: Monday April 1, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story ULSTER Parade. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA WireA young man carrying petrol bombs in his trouser pockets at the start of an Easter Monday parade in the Creggan area of Londonderry, commemorating the anniversary of the Easter Rising Rebellion of 1916. Picture date: Monday April 1, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story ULSTER Parade. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
A young man carrying petrol bombs in his trouser pockets at the start of an Easter Monday parade in the Creggan area of Londonderry, commemorating the anniversary of the Easter Rising Rebellion of 1916. Picture date: Monday April 1, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story ULSTER Parade. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
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He said a fire engine attending the scene was “forced to retreat by masked youths” and that a number of barricades had been set up.

Another journalist, Garrett Hargan of the Belfast Telegraph, posted an image up showing a trail of fire on a roadway, along with the message: “Absolutely disgraceful and shocking scenes in Creggan.

"Young people have pursued members of the media and thrown petrols bomb at them. This was after one petrol bomb was thrown at the feet of a colleague.”

He went on to add: “The intimidation of journalists started early on with bottles and bangers.

A colour party prepares to start their Easter Monday parade through the Creggan area of Londonderry, commemorating the anniversary of the Easter Rising Rebellion of 1916. Picture date: Monday April 1, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story ULSTER Parade. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA WireA colour party prepares to start their Easter Monday parade through the Creggan area of Londonderry, commemorating the anniversary of the Easter Rising Rebellion of 1916. Picture date: Monday April 1, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story ULSTER Parade. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
A colour party prepares to start their Easter Monday parade through the Creggan area of Londonderry, commemorating the anniversary of the Easter Rising Rebellion of 1916. Picture date: Monday April 1, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story ULSTER Parade. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
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“Never did I think I'd witness a colleague being hunted down like this...

“It pains me to say it, but I feel ashamed of my city today.”

All this comes amid parades by republicans across Northern Ireland which mark the Easter Rising of 1916.

The PSNI’s commander in Londonderry, Chief Superintendent Gillian Kearney, said police hadnot been notified of a republican parade from Central Drive to the City Cemetery in Creggan this afternoon (such notifications are a legal requirement).

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“Police engaged with the event organiser and, on the day, issued several warnings from a drone to make participants aware they would be taking part in an un-notified parade on Central Drive.

“Despite several warnings, participants proceeded along Central Drive and into the City Cemetery.

“Sadly, we saw evidence of petrol bombs being prepared by young people prior to the parade.

"These youths were also involved in the parade along Central Drive. It is our assessment these would have been used to attack police had the opportunity arose.

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"It’s incredibly sad, and really disheartening to see young people, including children, involved in this. Using young people in this way, risking their safety and encouraging them to engage in criminality is reprehensible.

“A local person’s van was set on fire for no reason, just next to a local community hall on Central Drive in Creggan, while a number of petrol bombs were also thrown in the area.”

She added that “an investigation has commenced into what occurred” and that “footage obtained from our evidence gathering operation today will be reviewed as part of an investigation into a breach of the Public Processions Act and offences Under the Terrorism Act 2000”.

DUP MLA Gary Middleton described the scenes as “disgraceful”.

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The Foyle representative said: “The aim of those who took part in the parade was to try and lure the PSNI into the area to attack them.

"The PSNI advised myself and other elected representatives that they would be taking an ‘evidence gathering’ approach – to try and uphold law and order, but also to ensure they had the best chance to catch those responsible if they break the law."

Darren Guy, the UUP leader on Derry City and Strabane District Council, condemned “how local IRA criminals will use young kids in an attempt to draw in PSNI units to Creggan to attack them with bricks and petrol bombs”.

He added: “These kids will achieve nothing other than a criminal record and diminish any future chances they have in life, all because bully-boy criminals have used coercive control to carry out their sinister fantasies, which amounts to nothing more than child criminal exploitation.

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"A cemetery is sacred to many people. Today criminals totally disrespected all those interned there by burning clothes within the grounds of the City Cemetery.”

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Director of Amnesty International, said: “The media have every right, indeed a professional duty, to report on public events like today’s commemorations, on behalf of the public.

"That they should come under physical attack for doing so by people in masks is deeply sinister.

​“Today’s outrageous targeting of journalists in the Creggan could all too easily have resulted in serious injuries or indeed the loss of life.”