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Man (31) is left fighting for his life after shots fired into house

By Chris McCullough

A 31-year-old man is in a critical condition in hospital following a shooting attack on a house in Craigavon.

Police believe an automatic weapon was used in the incident in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Up to 20 shots were fired through the front living room window of the house in Carrigart Crescent.

The victim was on his own when the attack happened at around 1.45am.

A Skoda car that was seen in the area before the attack is thought to be connected to the shooting. It was found burnt out at New Line in Lurgan a short time afterwards.

Police say it had fake number plates and had been stolen in the Dublin area in December.

There have been a number of similar attacks in recent weeks, including one in Poyntzpass.

However, Chief Inspector Jon Burrows said that while all lines of enquiry were open, the PSNI did not at this time believe the shooting to be linked to any other.

He appealed for information on the attempted murder.

He said: "At this stage we believe that those responsible had carefully planned this attack. We are keen to trace the car's movements in the time leading up to the shooting.

"We are working to establish a motive for the attack and I would ask anyone with any information about the incident itself or any ongoing issues in the area to contact detectives."

Upper Bann Ulster Unionist Assembly candidate Doug Beattie said: "I unreservedly condemn last night's shooting in the Carrigart Crescent area of Craigavon in which 20 shots were fired into a house and a man was critically injured.

"There is no excuse or reason for anyone to be carrying or using weapons. It is long past time that criminal and paramilitary activity ended for good, and that no community in Northern Ireland has to live in fear of the law of the gun.

"I would ask anyone who saw anything suspicious in that area in the early hours of Monday morning to contact the police immediately and to help them remove a dangerous criminal gang from our midst."

Liam Mackle, Sinn Fein councillor for the area, also condemned the shooting.

He said: "It is complete madness firing an automatic rifle in an area like that with lots of young families living there.

"I want to call on people to give whatever information they can to the PSNI. The sooner these people are locked up the better. I hope the man makes a full and quick recovery. It's very unusual for this to happen in this area - it's a relatively new development that wouldn't be there for more than 10 years.

"I have helped out constituents in the area and know there are a lot of young families.

"I don't think there has ever been anything like this happen before."

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