Thugs riot as Ulster weeps
Violence exploded in Lurgan last night after a leading republican figure was arrested in connection with the murder of two soldiers in Antrim last Saturday.
Teenage rioters took to the streets after cops swooped on the home of prominent dissident republican Colin Duffy.
Masked youths hurled petrol bombs and stones at police following a series of searches in Lurgan.
They also blocked railway lines that run near the Kilwilkie estate, after Duffy was led away by cops.
The train line between Lurgan and Portadown on the main route to Dublin closed at 3.30pm yesterday due to the mob hurling petrol bombs and stones at police, mainly in the Lake Street area.
Former IRA prisoner Duffy (41) was one of three men being quizzed at the PSNI’s Serious Crime Suite in Antrim last night in relation to the murder of Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar.
Declan McGlinchey (32), the son of INLA killer Dominic ‘Mad Dog’ McGlinchey, was also being held in relation to the double murder.
Their arrests brought to six the number of people being held in relation to the explosion of dissident republican violence over the past eight days.
Police were yesterday continuing to question a 20-year-old man arrested in relation to the Continuity IRA murder of police constable Stephen Carroll in Craigavon on Monday.
He was arrested as Constable Carroll’s widow Kate buried her husband following a service in Banbridge.
A youth aged 17 and a 37-year-old man who had been arrested earlier in the week in connection with Cons Carroll’s murder can be held until Tuesday, after cops were granted a five-day extension to continue questioning them.
Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde said last night that police believe there are 300 dissident republicans involved in the campaign to destroy the Northern Ireland peace process.
Sir Hugh said: “The current wisdom is that they number around 300 in a population of 1.75 million. When they try to gain any political foothold through elections, they are wiped out by decent politicians committed to moving Northern Ireland forward.”