Belfast Telegraph

Republican Action Against Drugs admits shooting two men and says it will shoot more

By Brendan McDaid

Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) has issued a statement claiming responsibility for the recent shootings of two men.

It also issued a chilling message that it would continue with its campaign of so-called punishment attacks.

An 18-year-old was shot in both legs “by appointment” in Londonderry, while a man aged 29 was shot four times in the limbs in Co Donegal.

James Curtis, originally from Derry, was targeted at his rented home in St Johnston on Tuesday and shot in front of his girlfriend and their seven-month-old child.

Two men forced their way in and blasted him in both arms and legs. He was rushed to hospital in Dublin where doctors are fighting to save his limbs.

In its statement, the vigilante group said the 18-year-old was shot for alleged involvement in drugs activity, while Mr Curtis was targeted for what it alleged was “very serious anti-community activity”.

RAAD also said it had not lifted its threat against a Derry shop owner, previously targeted by the group and who has now fled the city.

The group referred to recent rallies against its activities held in Derry and said that “no amount of protests will stop RAAD operations”.

Several mass rallies have been held in the city, with opposition intensifying after the murder of Andy Allen at his home in Co Donegal.

The 24-year-old, from the Top of the Hill in the Waterside area, was shot at a house in Buncrana in February.

Mr Allen, a father-of-two, was one of several men forced out of Derry by RAAD last year.

Three men went up to the house and fired a number of shots through a bedroom window. They had failed to gain entry through the front door.

His murder was the first killing by the group and sparked fears it was “upping the ante” in its activities.

RAAD also said that claims by a community worker that five people had been exiled from Derry recently were not true, and claimed that he had not dealt with anyone who had come to the attention of the group.

Background

Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) formed in Derry in 2008 offering drug dealers an “amnesty” if they stopped their activities. Since then the group has widened its targets to include anyone it deems guilty of anti-social behaviour and domestic violence.

RAAD violence has included so-called punishment shootings which involves the victim being shot in the ankles, knees and sometimes elbows as well as pipe bomb or arson attacks on the property of alleged dealers. It has also ordered people to leave the city and/or country.

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