Belfast Telegraph

Dissident republican gun attack on PSNI Land Rover 'clear attempt to kill police officers'

A dissident republican gun attack on a PSNI Land Rover in Londonderry was a "clear attempt to kill police officers", the Justice Minister has said.

Police came under gunfire in the Westland Street area of the Bogside on Tuesday night.

The window of a police Land Rover was struck twice during the attack, but no officers were injured.

Justice Minister David Ford has said those behind the attack in the residential area had "no regard for the local community and have absolutely nothing positive to offer".

"This gun attack was a clear attempt to kill police officers and is to be unreservedly condemned," he said.

PSNI superintendent Garry Eaton said: "It is fortunate that we are not speaking about deaths or injuries today.

"Members of the crew were kept safe by protective equipment on the vehicle, however if the shots had missed, then anyone walking or standing on the street could have been hit.

"The officers were carrying out normal patrolling to keep the community safe. Those who organised and carried out the attack were totally reckless and showed total disregard for the lives of people in that community.

"Despite this incident; we remain committed to providing the people of Derry with the type of positive and dedicated policing that they ask and expect of us."

The shooting happened around 1am yesterday but details have only now been released as ballistic tests were required to establish if the strike marks were definitely caused by gunfire.

Sinn Fein Assembly member Raymond McCartney condemned the shooting.

"This gun attack in a built up area such as the Bogside was totally reckless," said the Foyle representative.

"Westland Street is a busy thoroughfare and this attack put the lives of many people at risk.

"Thankfully no one was injured in this incident but we could have been faced with a tragedy.

"Those behind this attack have nothing to offer society and are not representative of the people of Derry.

"They need to immediately desist from these futile actions."

SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood said: "This is a shocking attack on our police service.

"The people who carried out this attack have no regard for their community, or for the future we are trying to build.

"These people need to hear the message loud and clear that their actions are not wanted in our community and they will never achieve the aims they say they want to achieve by violent means."

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