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Dissidents slammed after gunman opens fire inside Telstar Bar


Masked men fired a handgun in the Telstar Bar in Londonderry

Masked men fired a handgun in the Telstar Bar in Londonderry

Masked men fired a handgun in the Telstar Bar in Londonderry

A group of masked men who burst into a Londonderry bar and fired shots in the air have been branded a "disgrace".

Dissident republicans are being blamed after the men entered the Telstar bar in the predominately Catholic Creggan area of the city on Saturday night armed with sticks and bats, reportedly looking for someone.

When they didn't find who they were looking for they left. A short time later, another group of men entered the public bar on Central Drive at around 6.30pm and fired shots from a handgun into the air.

SDLP Assemblyman Pat Ramsey said the man they were looking for escaped through a nearby off-licence and the gang gave chase and shot after him.

Mr Ramsey branded the incident a "disgrace" and blamed dissident republicans for the attack: "Who else but dissident republicans walk around this city in masks and carrying handguns? They think they are doing this to help the community but they aren't.

"Once again the good image of Creggan has been tarnished. It is distressing that again people have been subjected to this type of behaviour by dissident republicans. This is a busy place where people have gone to socialise on a Saturday afternoon," he added.

Sinn Fein's Kevin Campbell said it needed to be emphasised that those responsible didn't represent anyone and that guns had no place in the community.

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"We are very lucky no one was injured in this incident. Those responsible represent no one but themselves. They have no place in our community; guns have no place in our community. And they need to stop these actions immediately."

Chief Inspector Andy Lemon confirmed investigations into the incident were continuing.

"I appeal to anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area around this time or anyone who has information about the incident to contact detectives," he added.

"There are no reports of anyone being injured in the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

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