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Friday, 22 November, 2002, 18:34 GMT
Striking firefighter shot with air rifle
Striking firefighters on picket line
Firefighters said they had received "tremendous" support
A 27-year-old firefighter has been shot with an air rifle while he was standing on a picket line in Manchester.

The incident happened at the corner of Feltham Street and Pottery Lane, in Gorton.

The firefighter, from Stockport, suffered severe bruising to his ribcage but did not require hospital treatment.

It is not known where the rifle was fired from but an air rifle pellet was found at the scene.

Career-threatening injury

Greater Manchester Police said officers would increase patrols in the area.

Ian Tracy, Gorton Fire Station Officer, said the firefighter's tunic had protected him from suffering what could have been a career-threatening injury.

He added: "We don't know whether or not it was a chance drive-by shooting or whether there was someone with an air rifle parallel to where we are.

"This is a peaceful picket, we are getting tremendous support and we are not going to be moved or intimidated."


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