Fears of dissident attack on PSNI in run-up to 1916 centenary

At least one gunshot fired at police in Lurgan while assault rifle discovered in Strabane

PSNI superintendent David Moore said the violence was “nothing short of disgusting”. Photograph: Trevor McBride

PSNI superintendent David Moore said the violence was “nothing short of disgusting”. Photograph: Trevor McBride

 

Republican dissidents are set to launch attacks on Police Service of Northern Ireland officers to mark the Easter 1916 centenary commemorations, the Northern Ireland Police Federation fears.

The warning came following an attack in which at least one shot was fired at police during disorder in Lurgan, Co Armagh. More than 100 petrol bombs were hurled at police in overnight violence on Sunday.

Twenty-five paint bombs, bricks and other masonry were thrown by a “large and aggressive crowd”. No police officers or members of the public were injured.

The attacks happened as police were dealing with a suspicious device left close to the railway line in Lurgan. The security operation disrupted rail services including the Belfast-Dublin service.

Evacuated residents returned to their homes last night. The train line also reopened after police said two suspicious objects were found to have been hoaxes.

Describing the violence as “nothing short of disgusting”, PSNI Superintendent David Moore said: “At one point a gunman emerged from this crowd and fired at least one shot at police. Mercifully, no one was hurt.”