Deadly Irish riots suddenly erupt

 

A woman has been shot dead in what authorities are calling a "terrorist incident" after masked thugs lobbed petrol bombs and fired bullets in deadly riots in Londonderry in Ireland.

Police chiefs say they have launched a murder probe after the 29-year-old victim died from her injuries.

Dissident Republicans are being blamed for the killing, the BBC reports.

A major security operation is under way in the Creggan area, with rioters hurling bricks and bottles at police and setting alight a hijacked van.

Fireworks are also understood to have been set off in the direction of officers. Armed cops are now patrolling the streets.

A car burns after petrol bombs were thrown at police in Creggan, Londonderry, in Northern Ireland. Picture: AP
A car burns after petrol bombs were thrown at police in Creggan, Londonderry, in Northern Ireland. Picture: AP

 

Armed police at the scene of unrest in Northern Ireland. Picture: AP
Armed police at the scene of unrest in Northern Ireland. Picture: AP


"Sadly I can confirm that following shots being fired tonight in Creggan, a 29 year old woman has been killed," the Police Service of Northern Ireland said on Twitter.

"We are treating this as a terrorist incident and we have launched a murder inquiry."

Police had earlier called for calm after the riot broke out on Thursday evening in a housing estate.

BBC reports the trouble began when authorities raided properties in the area, with its Northern Ireland home affairs editor Hulian O'Neill saying dissident Republicans are being blamed for starting the unrest.

"Happened during disorder following police searches," he said.

Express reports that an armoured vehicle that was part of the raid upset a mob of locals in the Irisih Republican heartland.

Petrol bombs are thrown at police. Picture: AP
Petrol bombs are thrown at police. Picture: AP

 

Petrol bombs are thrown at police. Picture: AP
Petrol bombs are thrown at police. Picture: AP

 

A hijacked car explodes after being set on fire. Picture: AP
A hijacked car explodes after being set on fire. Picture: AP

 

Leona O'Neill, a journalist for the Belfast Telegraph who was at the scene, said she called the ambulance for the deceased woman after she was shot.

"I was standing beside this young woman when she fell beside a police Land Rover tonight in Creggan #Derry," she tweeted.

"I called an ambulance for her but police put her in the back of their vehicle and rushed her to hospital where she died. Just 29 years old. Sick to my stomach tonight."

A video has emerged appearing to show a masked men fire a gun, followed by the sound of a woman screaming for help.

Michelle O'Neill, deputy leader of the political party Sinn Féin, said she was "shocked and saddened at the tragic news".

"I unreservedly condemn those responsible for killing this young woman."

Ulster Unionist Party leader Robin Swann said news of the death was "devastating".

"A precious life lost, we can't go back to this nor can we allow others to drag us back," she said.

Democratic Union Party leader Arlene Foster has described the incident as "heartbreaking".

"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."

Dramatic pictures show the gutted remains of cars in the street. Crowds can be seen in the background watching as a vehicle goes up in flames.

 

A car burns after petrol bombs were thrown at police in Creggan, Londonderry. Picture: AP
A car burns after petrol bombs were thrown at police in Creggan, Londonderry. Picture: AP

 

Police guard a crime scene during unrest in the Creggan area of Londonderry, in Northern Ireland. Picture: AP
Police guard a crime scene during unrest in the Creggan area of Londonderry, in Northern Ireland. Picture: AP

 

Others show armed cops stood by the remains of burnt-out cars after the violence.

Tensions have flared as Republicans prepare to mark the anniversary of the Easter Rising, the 1916 rebellion against British rule in Ireland.

This story originally appeared on The Sun and is reproduced here with permission


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