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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 11:16 GMT
Officer shot outside city school
Police at the scene
The government and police are blaming dissident republicans
An off-duty police officer has been injured in a shooting in Londonderry.

The 43-year-old man had just left his child off at a school in Bishop Street at about 0830 GMT. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Security sources are blaming dissident republicans. It is understood the man, who is Catholic, was shot in his car.

He was struck by a number of shotgun pellets but was able to drive himself to a police station. He sustained injuries to his face and arm.

A car believed to have been used in the attack was found burned-out in the Creggan area of the city at 0900 GMT.

Shooting scene
Anyone would assume that a man is entitled to leave his child to school in safety
Fr Roland Calhoun

Appealing for information, Chief Superintendent Ricky Russell said: "Whilst the injuries are not believed to be life-threatening at this time, this remains a very serious incident and is being treated as attempted murder."

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein said dissident republicans "have no popular support and have no strategy to achieve a united Ireland".

Local priest Father Roland Colhoun said it was "horrendous" for such an attack to happen outside a school.

"Anyone would assume that a man is entitled to leave his child to school in safety, to leave the child there, and to go home and to be well enough in the evening to come back and collect the child," he said.

'Unacceptable'

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said: "There needs to be absolute condemnation of this shooting as well as total support for the police throughout the entire community."

SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey said: "As a community we must send out a message that these attacks are unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

Policing Board Chairman Sir Desmond Rea said: "We cannot allow those who want to dwell in the past to thwart the progress that has been made."

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