25/01/2010

Crossmaglen Police Under Attack

The police station in the border village of Crossmaglen has been attacked by gunmen.

It happened at the weekend when a car pulled up at the station gates at around 9.30pm on Sunday.

Two persons fired a number of shots before making off in the direction of Cullaville.

It is the second time the south Armagh PSNI base has been shot at within a month. No one was injured in either incident.

Ulster Unionist member of the Policing Board Basil McCrea condemned the attack: "This goes to show the dissident threat is still very much alive and these people will continue to strive to destabilise the political process."

On 30 December a number of shots were fired at the border station with dissident republicans thought to be responsible for the attacks.

Local Sinn Fein councillor Terry Hearty told the BBC this morning: "Any shooting is a worry for the people in the town. I just want to totally and utterly condemn it.
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"It is not doing any good for the town. We have a number of major developments over the last number of years."

SDLP Councillor Geraldine Donnelly also condemned those responsible: "This was an extremely reckless act which nobody wants.

"By every measure of public opinion in this area, people want accountable policing, they want law and order and they want problems of crime and anti-social behaviour dealt with, and they want an open police station and they want officers to be able to move around the area," she said.

"For over 30 years we endured a huge fortress in our midst without any connection with or real relevance to the needs of Crossmaglen.

"The people who fired at the station clearly want to go back to the fortress days, but we are not going back there.

"The police are now part of our community but the gunmen are not. They are going to end up in prison but they will not make a prison of our community again," she said.

(BMcC/GK)

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