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Continuity IRA claiming responsibility for killing PSNI officer

By Deborah McAleese

Published 10/03/2009

Murdered PSNI officer Stephen Carroll
Murdered PSNI officer Stephen Carroll
Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde shows his emotions at a press conference after the murder of Stephen Carroll
The shooting is understood to have happened near Lismore High School in Craigavon
Police officers cordon off the area near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A police Service of Northern Ireland officer aims his rifle as he takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 10,2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
The scene where a PSNI officer has died following a shooting incident in Craigavon, County Armagh
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer aims his rifle as he takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer aims his rifle as he takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer aims his rifle as he takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday,March, 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer aims his rifle as he takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Flowers at the scene of the fatal shootings outside Massereene army base
Flowers left at the entrance to Massereene Army Base
Flowers are left at the entrance to Massereene Army Base
A field dresing lies in the bloodsoaked road at the entrance to Massereene Army Base
Graffiti daubed on walls in West Belfast by CIRA supporters showed that all is not well in the republican camp and that dissident republicans are not supportive of latest Sinn Fein and IRA moves. This message on the Falls Road in West Belfast was painted over shortly after the picture was taken...
A woman holds back tears during a prayer service for the soldiers killed at Massereene British Army Barracks in Antrim, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March 8, 2009. Two British soldiers were shot dead late Saturday and four injured by dissident Irish Republican terrorists, the first killing of British troops in Northern Ireland since 1997. Its callousness, in targeting soldiers and civilians alike, appeared calculated to inflame community tensions and undermine Northern Ireland's Catholic-Protestant administration. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
The front entrance to the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, is seen Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
File pictures of republican dissident group, the Real IRA at a 'training camp' in the border counties of Northern Ireland taken in January 2008
A police officer patrols outside the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush Saturday that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police forensic officers examine the scene at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Aerial showing Masserene army base and it's front entrance
File pictures of republican dissident group, the Real IRA at a 'training camp' in the border counties of Northern Ireland taken in January 2008
Police forensic officers examine the scene at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police forensic officers examine the scene at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
File pictures of republican dissident group, the Real IRA at a 'training camp' in the border counties of Northern Ireland taken in January 2008
A police officer talks on his phone at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush Saturday that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Security at the entrance to the Massereene army barracks in Antrim
Police Forensic officers examine the scene at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police Forensic officers examine the scene at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A security officer patrols the entrance to the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A police officers patrols at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison) (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Local parish members hold a prayer service at Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison) (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson speaks to the media in Antrim, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009. The First Minister was giving his views on the deaths of two British soldiers shot late Saturday along with four injured, by dissident Irish Republican terrorists, in the first killing of British troops in Northern Ireland since 1997. Its callousness, in targeting soldiers and civilians alike, appeared calculated to inflame community tensions and undermine Northern Ireland's Catholic-Protestant administration. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Britain's secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Shaun Woodward speaks to the media at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush Saturday that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A man leaves flowers near Massereene army barracks, in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009. Suspected IRA dissidents opened fire on British troops and pizza delivery men outside a Northern Ireland army base, killing two soldiers and wounding four other people. Police said Sunday the attackers fired on their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A man leaves flowers near Massereene army barracks, in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009. Suspected IRA dissidents opened fire on British troops and pizza delivery men outside a Northern Ireland army base, killing two soldiers and wounding four other people. Police said Sunday the attackers fired on their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Secretary of State Shaun Woodward leaves the Massareen Army Base in Antrim today after meeting colleagues of the murdered soldiers.
First Minister Peter Robinson and Willie McRea at the scene of the attack
First Minister Peter Robinson at the scene of the attack
Representatives from the main churches who arrived at scene to pay respect
Representatives from the main churches who arrived at scene to pay respect
A masked Real IRA , (RIRA), colour party stand over the coffin of murdered dissident republican on 18/10/00
Parishioners pay respect to the families and loved ones of those affected.
Parishioners from the main churches arrived at scene to pay respect to the families and loved ones of those affected.
An abandoned car (believed to be a getaway car) on the Ranaghan Road a few miles from Massereene army base after last night's fatal shootings.
Two cars in a sealed off area outside the entrance to Massereene army base after the fatal shootings.
Forensics team searches the area
.An impromptu multi-denominational prayer services was held this afternoon at the cordon around Massareen Army Base in Antrim in memory of the murdered soldiers and the injured.
.An impromptu multi-denominational prayer services was held this afternoon at the cordon around Massareen Army Base in Antrim in memory of the murdered soldiers and the injured.

Dissident Republican group the Continuity IRA today claimed responsibility for last night’s brutal murder in Co Armagh.





In a coded message, the dissident group said the shooting in Craigavon was carried out by its north Armagh battalion.

It said: “As long as there is British involvement in Ireland, these attacks will continue.”

In the fresh dissident republican outrage gunmen ambushed officers after they answered a call for help from a “terrified” woman in the Lismore Manor area of Craigavon shortly before 10pm yesterday.

Two police vehicles went to the scene at around 9.45pm and as officers got out they were shot at. Constable Stephen Carroll was fatally wounded.

Following the shooting the First and Deputy First Ministers flew back to Belfast after delaying their trade trip to America a second time.

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness were due first to receive a detailed security briefing at Stormont on the Craigavon killing from PSNI chief constable Sir Hugh Orde. The Executive leaders had been in London when the police officers’ murder happened, preparing to depart for the US west coast.

The killing comes just days after the Real IRA murdered two soldiers outside Massereene Army base in Antrim and injured four others, including two pizza delivery men.

Mark Quinsey (23), from Birmingham and Patrick Azimkar (21), from London, were unarmed, off-duty and due to fly to Afghanistan in the early hours of Sunday morning with their regiment.

There has been widespread shock and revulsion at the murderous actions of the dissidents. Assembly members observed one-minute silence today in tribute to the two soldiers and Constable Carroll.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has insisted there would be no return to “the old days” and Chief Constable said it will not put his officers off protecting the community.

The Police Federation today said it is now seeking an urgent reappraisal of all aspects of the security situation in Northern Ireland.

Federation chairman Terry Spence said the murder brings further horror to the province.

“Our colleague died doing his duty simply because he was a uniformed symbol of the law and order which protects society from the criminal few who would drag us back into the morass of a bloody past. They will be defeated only when the responsibilities of democracy are fully shouldered by all.

“The Federation is seeking an urgent reappraisal of all aspects of the security situation and of the safety of members of the police and security services. The police officers of Northern Ireland have been here before and were not found wanting in facing down nearly 40 years of terrorism. We reaffirm our solid and professional determination not to be deterred from our duty by cowardly attacks.”

The Chief Constable was due to hold a briefing with members of the Policing Board at lunchtime today about the shooting and the current security status after an emergency meeting was called.

Craigavon and Lurgan, are power bases for the Continuity IRA . In June a police patrol was the target of a CIRA explosive device and in August CIRA members hijacked and set fire to vehicles in Craigavon to lure police into positions where they could be attacked.

The most recent report by the Independent Monitoring Commission stated that during the review period the CIRA had been continuing to recruit, train, acquire weapons and raise funds.

“We concluded that CIRA remained active, dangerous and determined and had the potential for a higher level of violent and other crime ... They continue to plan and take part in a range of serious criminal activity, including drug dealing, robbery and tiger kidnapping, extortion, fuel laundering and smuggling.” the report stated.

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