'˜This was a blatant bid to murder police officers'

The Fountain estate in Londonderry.The Fountain estate in Londonderry.
The Fountain estate in Londonderry.
Shots were fired at police officers in Londonderry last night as public disorder continued in the Bogside area of the city for a fourth consecutive night.

Petrol bombs and paint bombs were also thrown in the vicinity of the city walls and at police patrols near the mainly unionist Fountain estate.

“For a fourth consecutive night police officers dealt with violence and disorder. Around sixteen petrol bombs and five paint bombs were thrown from the Bogside area. In what can only be described as a blatant bid to murder police officers, shots were fired at police close to our city’s walls,” said Chief Inspector Neil Beck.

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“We believe that around six shots were fired, striking the walls and nearby trees, however fortunately none of our officers were injured.

“Police officers should not be targeted under any circumstances and their lives should not be put in danger by simply doing their jobs, attempting to keep people safe.

“I am appealing to those with influence in the area to please assist us in trying to bring this unnecessary and unwanted violence to an end. This isn’t wanted by the community and those involved are urged to cease this activity immediately.”

A number of males have been charged in connection with disorder over previous evenings and two are due to appear in court this morning.

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“We have a robust strategy in place to identify those involved in the trouble of recent days and I am confident of further arrests. Anyone with information is asked to contact us on 101,” CI Beck continued.

“Alternatively, information can also be provided to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous.”

The ongoing violence in Londonderry, which is thought to have been orchestrated by dissident republicans, has been condemned by Northern Ireland’s political leaders.