Journalist dies after shots fired during Derry unrest

Petrol bombs were thrown at police armoured vehicles, and a hijacked vehicles were set on fire. Credit: Niall Carson/PA

A 29-year-old woman has died after shots were fired in Londonderry, with police in Northern Ireland treating the death as a "terrorist incident".

The PSNI has launched a murder inquiry after the death in the Creggan area of the city amid unrest on Thursday evening.

Petrol bomb were thrown and images from the scene show vehicles alight and others burnout.

Speaking at a press conference at Strand Road PSNI station Assistant Chief Constable for District Policing Mark Hamilton said journalist Lyra McKee was murdered by dissident republicans.

He said police had been carrying out a search operation in the Creggan area of Derry when a public order situation developed during which more than 50 petrol bombs were thrown at police and two cars hijacked and set on fire.

Assistant Chief Constable for District Policing Mark Hamilton said: “Lyra McKee was murdered during orchestrated violence in Creggan last night.

“A single gunman fired shots in a residential area of the city and as a result wounded Ms McKee. Officers quickly administered first aid before transporting her in the back of a landrover to hospital. Tragically she died from her injuries. At this stage we believe her murder was carried out by a violent dissident republican. Our thoughts are very much with the family and friends of Ms McKee, who was a journalist based in Belfast.

"This murder demonstrates all too starkly that when terrorists bring violence and guns into the community, members of the public are placed in severe danger. It is abundantly clear that they do not care who they harm"

The unrest comes ahead of the Easter weekend where republicans mark the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, a time when dissidents are traditionally active.

Politicians have widely condemned the killing.

Sinn Fein deputy leader Michelle O'Neill said the killing in Derry was a "senseless loss of life".

DUP leader Arlene Foster tweeted: "Heartbreaking news. A senseless act. A family has been torn apart.

hijacked vehicles one fire in Creggan area on Thursday night. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire
  • Our Correspondent Mark McFadden reports: