A 37-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after an assault and shooting incident in south Armagh.

The man was also detained on suspicion of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life and criminal damage.

He remains in police custody.

The arrest follows incidents in the Forkhill area on Tuesday night where a gang of men attacked a parked car at Park Urney.

The man in the vehicle, who is 54 years old, got out and attempted to run away but was assaulted.

“We believe he may have been struck on the head with a firearm, and subsequently sustained minor cuts to his head,” police said.

The attackers chased him but one of them is reported to have fallen and sustained a gunshot wound to his stomach.

He was driven to Daisy Hill Hospital by car and was left there. A car was later found burned out at Mourne View Park in Newry.

“Both victims were taken to hospital last night," police said.

“The man who sustained the head injuries has since been released, while the second male who sustained a gunshot wound has undergone surgery and remains in hospital this morning where his condition is described as critical but stable.”

“This was a reckless series of events and it only by sheer luck that we are not dealing with a tragic situation today,” the spokesperson continued.

“Two men ended up in hospital, however, anyone who was in the vicinity last night could well have been caught up in this and injured.

“Our investigation into these incidents is underway and we are working to establish a motive for what occurred.”

They went on: “I want to take this opportunity to make a number of appeals this morning and urge anyone with information that may help our investigation to pick up the phone and tell us what you know.

“Were you in Park Urney in Forkhill last night between 6pm and 6:30pm? Did you see a Blue Honda Accord in the Park Urney area of Forkhill, or in the Hospital Road area in Newry around 6:30pm; or did you capture this vehicle on your dash cam? Did you see what occurred?

“Were you at Daisy Hill Hospital last night around 6:30pm? Did you see anything out of the ordinary, in particular a Blue Honda Accord in the Accident & Emergency area.

"And, finally, were you in the Mourne View Park area of Newry around 8:15pm night where a Blue Honda Accord was found burnt out? Did you see any suspicious activity, including vehicles or persons?”

Anyone with information has been asked to come forward.