Gun of 'same type' used to kill Lyra McKee seized in Londonderry

The journalist was shot as she observed rioting in the Creggan area in April 2019. Credit: Pacemaker

Police have recovered a hand gun that they believe is the same gun that was used to murder Lyra McKee in Londonderry.

This comes following a two-day search operation by police and military personnel, where they focused on an area of more than 38 acres of land.

The searches began in the Ballymagroarty area of the city on Friday 5 June and concluded on Saturday 6 June.

However, Derry City and Strabane District Commander Chief Superintendent Emma Bond said police cannot confirm at this stage if it is the weapon that was used to kill Ms McKee.

29-year-old Lyra McKee was shot while observing rioting in the Creggan area of Derry in April 2019.

Her killing sparked widespread condemnation across the world.

Police believe the munitions discovered during the searches belong to the New IRA.

Derry City and Strabane District Commander Emma Bond said: "This operation was designed specifically to find items we believed were being stored by violent dissident republicans in the Ballymagroarty area and which posed a serious and imminent risk to the community."

The searches began in the Ballymagroarty area of the city on Friday. Credit: PSNI

The picture below shows a device firing pack discovered during their searches.

Device firing pack discovered by officers during their searches. Credit: PSNI

All items were discovered close to an area of land where children are known to play.

The dangerous items were seized close to an area where children are known to play. Credit: PSNI

Derry City and Strabane District Commander Emma Bond said: "The fact that these items were left close to a populated area, andparticularly on land where children are known to play, yet again underlines the total lack of regard these violent terrorist criminals have for their owncommunities."

The gun will be subject to extensive forensic testing in the coming days and weeks to determine if there is a link to the murder.