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Rise in shootings, bombings and paramilitary-style attacks, NI figures show

The figures emerged after the discovery of a plot by dissident republicans for Brexit day blast on January 31.

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Police at the scene in Londonderry where 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee was shot and killed (Brian Lawless/PA)

Police at the scene in Londonderry where 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee was shot and killed (Brian Lawless/PA)

Police at the scene in Londonderry where 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee was shot and killed (Brian Lawless/PA)

There has been an increase in the number of shootings, bombing incidents and paramilitary-style attacks in Northern Ireland over the past year, newly published police statistics have revealed.

There was one security-related death – the murder of journalist Lyra McKee by dissident republicans – over the last 12 months, according to records kept by the PSNI from February 1 2019 to January 31 2020.

That represents a drop from three deaths across the previous 12 months.

Londonderry unrest
People bless themselves as they pass the scene on Fanad Drive, Londonderry, where 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee was shot(Brian Lawless/PA)

However there was an increase in the number of shooting incidents, bombing incidents and paramilitary-style attacks.

There were 19 casualties of paramilitary-style shootings compared to 13 in the previous 12-month period. The number included an almost doubling in Belfast from five to nine.

There were 63 casualties of paramilitary-style assaults, up from 53 in the previous 12 months. Of the 63 victims, five were under the age of 18.

Bomb found in Northern Ireland
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable George Clarke outlined the discovery of the device on the heavy goods vehicle (PA)

There were 19 bombing incidents, compared to 17 in the previous year and 40 shooting incidents, compared to 36 in the previous year.

The figures were released on Friday, a day after it emerged that dissident republicans had been plotting a Brexit Day explosion after a bomb was found attached to a lorry in County Armagh.

The PSNI said they first received a report about an explosive device in a lorry at Belfast docks on January 31.

In a call to a media outlet, it was claimed the lorry was due to travel by ferry to Scotland.

Meanwhile, the number of people arrested and charged for terror offences in the last year also dropped.

There were 128 persons arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000, compared to 166 during the previous year.

The number of persons subsequently charged also dropped from 20 to 14 over the same period.

PA