Northern Ireland news

Trouble flares for fifth straight night in Derry as viable devices discovered

A fire at the bottom of the flyover in the Bogside after youths armed with petrol bombs and stones threw missiles into the nearby unionist Fountain estate 
Aoife Moore, David Young and Rebecca Black, Press Association

Trouble has flared for a fifth consecutive night in Derry.

The disorder again centred on the nationalist Bogside area.

The latest disturbances came a day after dissident republicans were blamed for firing at police with an automatic weapon in the area.

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Last night two suspect devices were found near the city's Walls at approximately 3.40am. They were examined by British Army bomb experts and declared to be crude but viable. They were made safe and taken away for examination.

Youths threw missiles into the nearby unionist Fountain estate and police stationed on the city's historic walls said 16 petrol bombs were thrown at them.

A fire was also started at the bottom of the flyover in the Bogside. Young people were seen stoking the burning wooden pallets, preventing cars from entering or exiting the roadway.

Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said: “While the number of people involved in last night’s disorder in the Bogside appears to have been less than in previous nights, it is still unacceptable and I am very disappointed people made a deliberate decision to go out onto the streets and cause trouble, despite the clear message from the community earlier. I am, however, thankful this morning that none of our officers, or members of the public have been injured.

“I want to stress the disorder we have seen on the streets over the past five nights has been caused by a minority of people who have absolutely no regard for the community being impacted, and the people who live there.

“I am urging those who have been engaged in the recent violence, and anyone tempted to become involved in this type of behaviour, to stop and consider the consequences of their actions, and desist immediately."

Earlier, police blamed dissident republican terrorists for firing a volley of automatic gunfire on officers.

Six shots were fired at officers close to the city's famous walls on Tuesday night.

None of the officers were injured and the bullets were found both in the walls themselves and nearby trees.

It is believed the shots were automatic gunfire which came from the vicinity of the Bogside Inn.

Around 16 petrol bombs and five paint bombs were also thrown close to the walls and at police patrols.

The PSNI are treating the incident as attempted murder.

Secretary of State Karen Bradley led condemnation of the incident.

"Anyone, who was in this part of the city, at this time, including children or young people could have been killed," she said.

"This murderous attack has to be condemned by all right-thinking individuals.

"I would call on all people of influence within the community to continue their efforts to encourage dialogue and reduce tensions.

"Anyone with any information about these incidents should contact the police.

"We will continue to work with the police to keep people safe."

Earlier, the leaders of all of the main political parties united to condemn attacks on the police amid ongoing unrest in Londonderry.

The DUP, Sinn Féin, UUP, SDLP and Alliance issued a rare joint statement condemning the attacks and calling for an end to the violence.

They said: "There must be a strong, clear and united voice against those who would engage in such disgraceful violence.

"As a society we must all stand with those who maintain law and order and who protect all sides of our community.

"We condemn any illegal activity and urge those who are damaging their own community and intimidating their neighbours to stop."

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