Police come under ‘prolonged and sustained attack’ as trouble continues in Bogside

PSNI.
PSNI.

Two improvised explosive devices were thrown at police officers in Londonderry as serious public disorder continued in the Bogside area of the city for a sixth consecutive night.

More than 70 petrol bombs were also thrown as police officers came under what the PSNI has described as a “prolonged and sustained attack”.

Three men were arrested in connection with the disorder – one of them on suspicion of attempted murder.

The latest trouble, orchestrated by dissident republicans, broke out shortly before 9pm last night.

Supt Gordon McCalmont said: “I am saddened, disheartened and frustrated that yet again police officers committed to keeping this local community safe have been attacked by a small number of people within it.

“It is nothing short of a miracle that officers were not injured.

“During this reckless disorder four AEP (Attenuated Energy Projectile) rounds were fired by my colleagues and we have arrested three males, aged 18 and 22 years old and aged approximately 50 years old.

“The 22-year-old had been arrested for attempted murder.”

Supt McCalmont said dissident republicans in the area are orchestrating the disorder and attacks on police.

“While we have seen many young people involved in these attacks over the last number of nights, it is clear that this is being orchestrated by a more sinister, adult, violent dissident republican element.

“This cannot continue. This must end now.

“I am asking every community leader and every single person with influence in Derry/Londonderry to help us stop these attacks on police and the wider community of the city,” he said.

This week has already witnessed two dissident republican murder bids against police officers in Londonderry.

On Tuesday night a volley of machine gun fire was directed at officers and on Wednesday night two pipe bombs were thrown at police. No one was injured.

As well as police, rioters have also targeted homes in the nearby unionist Fountain estate.

With police confirming that many of those involved in the disturbances are children and young people, parents in the area have been urged to make sure their children aren’t getting involved.

The trouble has been condemned by the leaders of all of Northern Ireland’s main political parties.