Northern Ireland news

Dissident republican group claims journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead 'accidentally' in Derry

Journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead in Derry. Picture by Kevin Cooper, Amnesty, Press Association

A dissident republican group has claimed that journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead "accidentally" during rioting in Derry last night.

Saoradh claimed police were to blame for rioting in the Creggan.

Ms McKee, originally from north Belfast, was reporting on the riot when she was shot dead. She had recently moved to Derry.

The dissident group said the 29-year-old was standing close to PSNI Land Rovers when she was killed.

"The blame for last night lies squarely at the feet of the British crown forces, who sought to grab headlines and engineered confrontation with the community," it said.

The scene on Fanad Drive in Derry, following the death of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee who was shot and killed in what police are treating as a "terrorist incident". Picture by Brian Lawless, PA Wire

"During this attack on the community, a republican volunteer attempted to defend people from the PSNI/RUC. Tragically a young journalist covering the events, Lyra McKee, was killed accidentally while standing behind armed crown force personnel and armoured vehicles.

"This outcome is heartbreaking and we extend our sincerest sympathy to the family, friends and loved ones of the deceased."

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Alliance leader Naomi Long hit out at the group's statement and branded them "cowards hiding behind weasel words".

"This was no accident," she said.

The scene in Derry following the death of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee who was shot and killed in what police are treating as a "terrorist incident". Picture by Brian Lawless/Press Association

"A gun was picked up deliberately, fired indiscriminately and murder committed intentionally. A young woman died. Whether she was your target or not, her murder was no accident. Own the shame of what you have done."

Ulster Unionist Doug Beattie said Ms McKee's death was not an accident.

"They went out with an intent to murder and murder they did," he said.

Read more: 

Petrol bombs are thrown at police in Creggan, Derry 
 

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