Northern Ireland news

Delivery firm quits Lurgan estate after van set on fire

Railway workers clear debris in Lurgan after petrol bombs were thrown at police and a van was set alight
Brendan Hughes

A NEWSPAPER delivery firm says it will no longer travel to a republican area in Lurgan after its van was hijacked and set alight by a masked gang.

The van was carrying around 1,500 newspapers through the Kilwilkie estate and two workers were inside when the vehicle was hijacked by four masked men.

It was set on fire at Lake Street railway junction at about 4.30am on Monday, and police were attacked with petrol bombs when they attended the scene.

The destroyed newspapers were due to be delivered to about 20 different newsagents.

Conor King, Derry-based operations manager for the firm Newspread, said the subcontractors confronted in the van were were left shaken but unharmed.

"They weren't to know whether or not someone was armed," the 36-year-old said.

Mr King said there had been problems in the area before, with another firm seeing one of its drivers confronted by a gunman.

He told the News Letter that the firm would not be returning to the estate.

"We've made arrangements with the two newsagents in Kilwilkie that we will make deliveries somewhere else, and they'll have to go and pick them up," he said.

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