Page last updated at 07:43 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 08:43 UK

Gun attack linked to dissidents

Burned-out cars
Cars were burned out in Craigavon's Tullygally estate

Dissident republicans are being blamed for a gun attack on a police patrol in Craigavon.

Four to five shots were heard after the patrol saw a man in a crouching position aiming at them with a rifle, police said.

No-one was injured in the attack in the Brownlow Road area, which happened shortly before 2000 BST on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, stones were thrown at SDLP assembly member Dolores Kelly after she spoke out against the violence.

"I had been on the news condemning the attacks on police officers," she said.

"There is no doubt in my mind that it was specifically me who was attacked and targeted because they waited until I had walked away until I came under attack."

Mrs Kelly's car windscreen was smashed and she suffered a minor leg injury.

But she said it would not stop her speaking out against attacks on the police.

This is not a game, this is not fun, what we've seen tonight is actually attempted murder
John O'Dowd, Sinn Fein

Craigavon District Commander Chief Superintendent Alan Todd said: "What is very clear... is that this is a very small minority in that area seeking to impose their will against the vast majority of people working, living and travelling.

"They are clearly people who align themselves to the dissident republican movement and they are clearly people who are struggling with the success being seen locally in the partnership between community and policing which has brought about the lowest crime level in a significant number of years."

'Hell-bent on bloodshed'

DUP MP for the area David Simpson condemned the trouble.

"It is disgraceful. It seems there are those within republicanism, whatever strain, who are hell-bent on shedding the blood of police officers," he said.

He said he believed that trouble earlier on Tuesday was orchestrated "to lure the police officers into that area to get a go at them".

In the afternoon, at least one blast bomb, as well as bottles, stones and petrol bombs were thrown at police in the town investigating a security alert.

That trouble happened in the Tullygally and Drumbeg areas.

Craigavon District Commander Chief Superintendent Alan Todd said

No-one was injured, but a number of vehicles were burnt out and several police vehicles damaged.

A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of hijacking. The alert followed a telephoned bomb warning on Monday. Nothing was found.

Sinn Fein assembly member John O'Dowd blamed the trouble on dissident republicans.

"I would appeal to everyone involved in the trouble to stop it now before someone is either injured or killed," he said.

"This is not a game, this is not fun, what we've seen tonight is actually attempted murder. Please stop it now before someone is killed."


SEE ALSO
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20 Aug 08 |  Northern Ireland


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