Northern Ireland

Assault rifle linked to New IRA seized in Derry

Two men arrested in operation

An assault rifle has been seized in Derry
An assault rifle has been seized in Derry

An assault rifle has been seized in Derry as part of a PSNI investigation into the activities of the New IRA.

The powerful weapon, a variant of the deadly AK-47, and a quantity of ammunition were found after a car was stopped by police at around 6.45pm on Tuesday.

Police have not said what part of the city the car was stopped in.

A 56-year-old man was arrested under the Terrorism Act and taken to Musgrave Street PSNI station in Belfast.

Further searches were later carried out in the Lone Moor Gardens and Rossnagalliagh areas during which a second man, aged 59, was arrested.

He was also taken to Musgrave Street for questioning.

Police came under attack during the Lone Moor Gardens search by a group comprising 50-60 people, including some who were masked, and who had gathered at the bottom of Southway.

Fireworks, bottles and masonry, were among the items thrown at officers during the trouble.

A number of police Land Rovers were damaged while some had their wing mirrors ripped off.

Superintendent Willy Calderwood said the weapon seized “could potentially be used to cause serious harm or, at the very worst, to kill” adding that the seizure “is significant and cannot be under estimated”.

He also described the attacks on police as “incredibly disappointing and disheartening”.