Rioters pelt police after murder suspect arrests
Petrol bombers returned to the streets of Northern Ireland at the weekend as rioters attacked police in Co Armagh.
One policeman sustained a wound to his arm after being hit by a brick as officers were pelted with missiles following the arrest of Lurgan republican Colin Duffy.
The 41-year old is one of nine people who remained in police custody last night in connection with recent dissident republican activity that has left two soldiers and a policeman dead.
Late last night, motorists were urged to avoid the Drumbeg area of Craigavon after two cars were hijacked then set on fire.
The vehicles were set alight on the Tullygally Road and a small crowd who gathered eventually dispersed.
Railway services in the area were also disrupted for a period last night following reports of a suspicious object left on the line.
On Saturday, rioters — the majority of whom were youths — took to the streets of Lurgan, hurling petrol bombs and stones.
Two teenagers were arrested during the disorder, which also saw a disruption to train services and a hoax security alert resulting in around a dozen homes being evacuated.
Trouble flared in the Lake Street area when Colin Duffy was arrested and taken into custody for questioning over the murder of soldiers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey at Massereene Barracks in Antrim.
Also arrested in connection with the double murder was 32-year old Bellaghy man Declan McGlinchey, the son of murdered INLA man Dominic ‘Mad Dog’ McGlinchey.
In total four men remained in police custody last night in connection with the investigation into the soldiers’ murders.
Also in police custody were the five people arrested over the murder of Constable Stephen Carroll.
Detectives were granted a five-day extension to continue questioning a 21-year old.
During Saturday’s unrest in Lurgan, rioters removed railway crossing barriers from mountings close to the Kilwilkie estate which they used to block the road.
Two firearms and ammunition were also seized during a planned search in the area, while a security alert in the Allenhill Park area of the town was declared a hoax.
The incident was sparked around 2.20am yesterday when a suspicious object was spotted by a member of the public.
Around a dozen homes were evacuated while experts from the Army’s bomb disposal unit were tasked to the scene.
Two controlled explosions were carried out before the incident was declared a hoax by the PSNI.
Upper Bann MLA Stephen Moutray of the DUP said he “utterly condemned” Saturday’s “riotous behaviour.”
He said: “The small group of people responsible for this pointless criminal activity are destroying their own communities and act on behalf of no-one.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the police as they tackle this scourge and in particular with those officers who were in any way injured during the rioting.
“The police have the overwhelming support of the community in ensuring those young people responsible for this thuggery are apprehended, brought before the courts and severely dealt with.”