07/12/2007

Four Now Held Over Derry Police Murder Bid

The police swooped on a number of locations yesterday and in seperate operations arrested a total of four suspects in their on-going investigation into the shooting of an off duty policeman in Londonderry last month.

A former local council election candidate was one of three men being initially being questioned about the attempted murder of the policeman.

Gary Donnelly – who stood as an independent republican candidate in the last election to Derry City Council – was among those still being held last night.

He was one of the initial three arrested during a major police operation in the city on Thursday morning, followed by the fourth arrest yesterday evening.

The investigation follows the shock incident when a 43-year-old officer was shot as he dropped his child off at school in Bishop Street on 8 November.

Despite injuries to his face and arm, the officer was able to drive to a nearby police station.

Police have said the three men are being questioned in connection with "serious terrorist crime".

A number of associated searches are also taking place in the city.

Last month's shooting in Derry was followed by one in Co Tyrone, which led to Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness, the Assembly’s Deputy First Minister, to call for anybody with information about the shootings to bring it to the police.

Speaking at the time, the MLA said: "These people are attempting to plunge our society back into conflict."

The second shooting happened just hours after the 'Real IRA' admitted to the Derry shooting.

Detectives - who arrested two people soon after the Dungannon shooting - are also treating that shooting of the off-duty officer, who is in his early 30s, as attempted murder.

In that, later incident, the officer, who had just left work, was shot a number of times in an arm as he sat in his car at traffic lights.

He managed to drive back to Dungannon Police Station where he crashed into the front gates.

See: McGuinness Appeals For Information On Police Murder Bid



(BMcC)

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