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PSNI hunt for riot gunmen

By Victoria O’Hara and Emily Moulton

Police today launched a hunt for masked gunmen spotted on the streets of Lurgan during an eruption of violence.





Ugly scenes flared yesterday evening after three dissident republicans from the town were each jailed for 15 years for plotting to kill police officers.

Gangs of masked youths hijacked vehicles in the Kilwilkie estate, while an articulated lorry was also set on fire in the nearby Tullygally estate.

Police said they received numerous reports of armed gunmen in the area last night but there were no reports of shots being fired. An investigation has been launched into last night's disorder and the police have vowed to bring those behind the violence to justice.

CI Jason Murphy said the trouble — believed to be orchestrated by dissident republicans — was an attempt to draw officers in and “cause serious disruption”.

CI Murphy said: “We have launched an investigation into last night's disorder and will be seeking to gather all the evidence we can to bring those involved to justice.”

And politicians have expressed concern that tensions could again escalate during the next 48 hours.

Sinn Fein MLA John O’ Dowd said: “There is a difficult weekend ahead.”

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