Belfast Telegraph

Petrol bombs thrown at police officers dealing with security alert in Londonderry- three arrested

  • Three males, including a 12-year-old boy, have been arrested
  • Police believe they were lured to the area in order to be attacked
  • The suspicious device was found to be an elaborate hoax
Army technical officers at the scene of the alert on Moss Road in Londonderry. Credit: Leona O'Neill
Army technical officers at the scene of the alert on Moss Road in Londonderry. Credit: Leona O'Neill
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

Petrol bombs have been thrown at police officers while they were dealing with a security alert near a polling station in Londonderry.

Police were called to the Moss Park area of the city at around 7pm after reports of a suspicious device in the vicinity of St Paul's Primary School, which was being used as a polling station.

When officers attended the scene they came under attack with five petrol bombs being thrown at them.

One of the petrol bombs was thrown in the Glengalliagh Park area where there was a number of children in close proximity to where it landed.

Police have recovered six petrol bombs, along with 20 paint bombs and two crates of empty bottles.

Two teenagers aged 17 and a boy aged 12 have been arrested in connection with the disorder.

All three remain in custody.

The bomb squad attended the scene and carried out an examination and controlled explosion on the suspicious device. The device has been declared an elaborate hoax and has been taken away for further forensic examination.

Moss Road has since re-opened.

Last month journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead in Derry by dissident republicans during unrest in the city.

Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said: "There is no doubt my officers were lured into the area this evening and that those involved in this orchestrated disorder had one aim in mind - to attack police.

"This was all the more reckless by the fact that one of the petrol bombs hurled at police landed in close proximity to young children who could have been left seriously injured, or worse.

"This security alert is the second this month in this area, impacting the same community that was disrupted on May 2 during local Council elections.

"It cannot be lost on anyone the disruption this has caused in the local community, let alone the potential for serious harm that could have been caused.

“I want to thank the public for their patience however when it comes to keeping people safe we take no chances. I would urge anyone who has information about the disorder this evening to contact police at Strand Road on 101 quoting reference number 1639 of 23/05/19."

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