A 29-year-old woman has died after shots were fired in Derry, with police in Northern Ireland treating the death as a “terrorist incident”.

The victim has been named as Lyra McKee, who was a journalist.

Police in Northern Ireland have launched a murder inquiry after her death in the Creggan area of the city amid unrest yesterday evening.

Assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton, from the PSNI, told a press conference this morning that police believe the attack was carried out by “violent dissident republicans”, adding: “Our assessment at this time would be that the New IRA is the most likely to be behind this and that forms our primary line of inquiry.”


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PSNI officers were carrying out a search operation in the Creggan area of Derry aimed at disrupting dissident republicans ahead of this weekend’s commemoration of Irish independence, when a situation developed during which more than 50 petrol bombs were thrown at officers and two cars were hijacked and set on fire.

During the unrest a gunman fired a number of shots at police, Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said.

He said: “Lyra McKee, 29 years old, was wounded. She was taken away in a police Land Rover to Altnagelvin Hospital but unfortunately she has died there.

“We have now launched a murder inquiry here in the city.

“We believe this to be a terrorist act, we believe it has been carried out by violent dissident republicans, our assessment at this time is that the New IRA are most likely to be the ones behind this and that forms our primary line of inquiry.

Tributes have been paid to Lyra McKee, who was set to become a published author later this year.

Matthew Hughes said he had been left “devastated” by the death of one of his closest friends.

“I just received the heartbreaking news that my friend @LyraMcKee was murdered tonight in a terrorist incident in Derry,” he tweeted.

“She was one of my closest friends. She was my mentor. She was a groomswoman at my wedding. I can’t imagine life without her, and yet now I must.”

Ann Travers, whose sister Mary was murdered by the IRA in 1984, said Ms McKee was a “kind, gentle, witty and stubborn soul”.

“I have just heard, that my lovely friend Lyra was murdered tonight in Derry. I just can’t believe, that this witty, clever human being has been taken… Feel sick.”

Mark H Durkan, SDLP MLA for Foyle, said he was left “heartbroken and angry” by the killing.

“Just leaving Creggan, heartbroken and angry at the senseless loss of a young life,” he tweeted.

“Violence (only creates victims, that’s all it ever has done. The thoughts and prayers of our city are with the young woman’s family and friends, may she rest in peace.”

Image: LinkedIn

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