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Monday, March 27, 2023

Crime: Police officer shot in Northern Ireland: Focus on New IRA

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On Wednesday evening in Omagh, Northern Ireland, a police officer was hit by several shots. The police are investigating at full speed and suspect militants behind the attack. Three men are arrested.

Police have arrested several suspects after an attack on a police officer in Northern Ireland. Three men aged 38, 45 and 47 have been arrested in connection with the attempted murder, police said today. The investigators assume that the perpetrators come from the milieu of the Republican-Catholic New IRA.

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Masked men fired multiple shots at the police officer while he was loading footballs into a car with his son after a practice session in the town of Omagh on Wednesday night. According to media reports, other children were also aware of the incident. According to the police, the victim was in critical but stable condition in the hospital on Thursday. It is said to be a senior officer who investigated paramilitary and drug-related crime.

“Investigations are at an early stage”

The New IRA is an amalgamation of several splinter groups of the paramilitary IRA (Irish Republican Army), which fought for a union of Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland in the decades-long civil war. At the end of the 1990s, the IRA laid down its arms and peace was concluded in the Good Friday Agreement. But some militants remained active, including on the side of Protestant supporters of the union with Britain. The splinter groups are closely linked to organized crime.

“The investigation is at an early stage,” Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan told BBC Radio Ulster on Thursday. All options are kept open, but the focus is on republican splinter groups and especially on the New IRA.

As the British news agency PA reported, there are suspicions that the perpetrators could have fled across the border to the Republic of Ireland. The investigators therefore worked closely with their colleagues in Ireland.

Source: Stern

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