Police Blamed For Craigavon Violence

Recent street violence in Co Armagh has been blamed on the police.

A republican has spoken out about the trouble in mid-Ulster, calling it "a symptom" of the non-acceptance of the PSNI in the area.

Colin Duffy, who opposes Sinn Fein's support for the police, was commenting on the rioting which erupted in the Craigavon and Lurgan areas earlier this week and involved rioting and hijackings.

Blast bombs and petrol bombs were thrown at police, culminating in the most serious incident when several shots were fired at PSNI officers by a sniper.

In a newspaper interview he accused the police of heavy-handedness in the Tullygally and Drumbeg estates.

He said that politicians may well take up places on the NI Policing Board to hold the PSNI "accountable" but "people on the ground will never accept them".

However, Sinn Fein MLA for the area John O'Dowd said his party had consulted widely with the electorate before taking its stance on the PSNI.
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The violence saw cars hijacked and burned and a blast bomb thrown at police responding to a telephoned security alert in a nationalist area of Craigavon.

Later, things escalated further with dissident republicans being blamed for a gun attack on a police patrol in Craigavon.

Four to five shots were heard after the patrol saw a man in a crouching position aiming at them with a "long-barrelled weapon", police said.

No one was injured in the attack in the Brownlow Road area, which happened shortly before 8pm on Tuesday.

In response, the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board condemned the gun attack on the police in Craigavon; and those behind earlier rioting in the Tullygally and Drumbeg areas.

He said: "Once again the police have come under attack on a number of fronts and it is fortunate that no one has been injured during this violence. This latest gun attack is another sinister development."

See: Craigavon Violence Escalates

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