Derry in turmoil after suspicious device discovered as police come under attack
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Derry in turmoil after suspicious device discovered as police come under attack

Riots in Derry that included an attack on police have been condemned as “completely senseless”.

On Tuesday evening in the Creggan area a crowd, including children, threw petrol bombs, heavy stones and fireworks.

PSNI police said the disturbance began after a suspicious device was discovered at about 7.45pm in Southway.

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A statement from the PSNI said officers attended the scene following a sudden death at Magowan Park and made the discovery while enquiries were taking place there.

They said a public safety operation was implemented with cordons set up, but riots broke out as paint, petrol bombs, heavy masonry objects and fireworks were thrown at police. Children were also among the victims.

Police vehicles were damaged, but there were no reports of injured officers.

The suspicious device turned out to be an elaborate fraud.

A 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of participating in the riots.

Gillian Kearney, District Commander for Derry and Strabane, said: “The disorder that has developed has been completely senseless.

“The fact that such a commotion occurred when officers were dealing with such a sensitive case is disgraceful.

“It will also cause harm to local communities and divert our resources from the issues that matter most to us.

“There are reports of children as young as six and seven being involved. This is criminal child exploitation.

“We know from the daily work of our officers that what happened last night has sparked anger in the local community and the wider region.

“I want to assure the community that my officers will be working today to take drugs off the streets, respond to domestic violence calls and protect communities from those who would harm the most vulnerable.

“I want to commend the officers involved last night.”

Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact 101, quoting reference number 1510 of 07/09/24.

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