Northern Ireland news

Derry violence an 'attempt to kill police officers'

Trouble flares in Derry as a dissident republican parade attempts to get to the city cemetery for the annual Easter Monday commemorations. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

ATTACKS on police in Derry were designed to injure or kill officers, the Police Federation has said.

Officers were pelted with petrol bombs, planks and other missiles as they attempted to stop an illegal 1916 commemoration parade in the Creggan on Monday.

The PSNI said officers had tried to engage with the parade's organisers but they declined to enter discussions.

However, anti-agreement republican party Saoradh claimed the PSNI's response to the parade was heavy-handed.

Police Federation chairman, Mark Lindsay, described Monday's violence as "appalling and disgraceful".

"Let me make something clear: anyone who throws petrol bombs at police vehicles or individual officers is out to cause maximum physical harm," he said.

"They want to maim or kill officers. That's the stark reality of their actions.

"They only know how to wreck and undermine. They are bankrupt thugs with nothing but misery to offer a community. They cling desperately to a past, unwilling to recognise the gains that have been made and unwilling to imagine a better future for the entire community."

He claimed young people involved in the violence were being "manipulated by older and sinister puppet-masters".

Mr Lindsay said those behind the attacks should be brought to justice.

"To do that, I would appeal to the local community who may know who these people are to help us rid the community of this menace," he said.

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