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Disorder breaks out following Derry security operation

Police have come under attack by a crowd throwing stones in Derry's Creggan area on Sunday evening.
Police have come under attack by a crowd throwing stones in Derry's Creggan area on Sunday evening. Police have come under attack by a crowd throwing stones in Derry's Creggan area on Sunday evening.

POLICE officers have been attacked with stones and other missiles following a security operation in Derry.

The disorder broke out on Sunday evening following searches at Brae Head Road in the Creggan area of the city.

The searches, which involved sniffer dogs and army technical officers, was carried out by the PSNI's Terrorism Investigation Unit.

A PSNI spokesperson said the operation was linked to an investigation into "violent dissident republican activity".

Chief Superintendent Nigel Goddard said up to 30 young people were involved in throwing stones and bottles after gathering in the area.

"Some damage was caused to police vehicles but thankfully no officers were injured," he said.



“Police liaised with local community representatives who assisted in moving the young people away from the area. Shortly after 7.30pm, police were also able to leave the area after concluding the search and the situation has now calmed.”

Images of the disorder were shared on social media, while DUP Foyle MLA Gary Middleton condemned the "shameful scenes" in a post.

"Whilst PSNI officers are out trying to protect our communities from those who want to cause hurt and misery, they come under attack," he wrote.

"Those involved are destroying their own area and preventing the PSNI from protecting their neighbours."

Meanwhile, a 25-year-old man was released on Sunday evening after being arrested by police investigating the attempted murder of PSNI officer John Caldwell.

The man was detained on Sunday under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 following the search of a property in Derry, and he was taken for questioning to Belfast's Musgrave Serious Crime Suite.

Police said the arrest was in connection with the claim of responsibility made following the attack on Detective Chief Inspector Caldwell at a sports complex in Omagh last month.

The off-duty officer was shot in front of his son after taking part in youth soccer training, and police have linked the attack to dissident republican group the New IRA.

The man arrested over the claim of responsibility for the shooting was also arrested in relation to a recent hoax security alert in Derry, police have said.

An alert was sparked in the Lone Moore Road area of the city after a suspicious object was found close to the Brandywell stadium on February 10.

The alert caused disruption for those attending a Derry City vs Shamrock Rovers soccer match, including President Michael D Higgins and Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton Harris.

Police later said the suspicious object was an "elaborate hoax".