Gang of children attack police with petrol bombs, rocks and masonry

Gang of children ‘as young as nine’ attack police with petrol bombs, rocks and masonry in Londonderry

  • Steel poles and traffic cones were thrown amid chaotic scenes in Creggan area
  • One officer was struck in the head and damage was caused to police Land Rover 

Children as young as nine attacked police with petrol bombs, masonry and rocks in Northern Ireland last night – with four officers needing hospital treatment.

Steel poles and traffic cones were also thrown amid the chaos in Londonderry, with one officer struck in the head and damage caused to a police Land Rover.

Trouble broke out as Terrorism Investigation Unit detectives carried out three searches in the Creggan area as part of an ongoing investigation.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said last night that two of the searches were now complete, while the third was ongoing at Creevagh Heights in the Bligh’s Lane area.

Trouble broke out as police carried out searches in the Creggan area of Londonderry last night

They said cash, a firearm, a suspected firearm, a number of suspected pipe bombs and suspected ammunition were seized and will undergo forensic examination.

John Boyle, Social Democratic and Labour Party councillor on Derry City and Strabane District Council, said he was concerned by the ‘very significant number of young people’ involved.

He told the BBC’s The North West Today: ‘Things on the ground were quite significant and severe at some points.

‘There was very young children, children I would estimate as being as young as nine or ten years of age involved in it.’

The PSNI tweeted this picture of a firearm found in the search in Creggan yesterday afternoon

Gary Middleton, Democratic Unionist Party Member of the Legislative Assembly for Foyle, told the BBC’s Nolan Show that four officers needed treatment in hospital after what he described as ‘orchestrated’ attacks on them.

He added: ‘It is a deeply concerning situation and once again we are seeing the result and impact of violence and the impact on our communities.’

PSNI Derry City and Strabane Superintendent William Calderwood said: ‘We appreciate the disruption search activity can have but I want to reassure you of this – our presence in the area and activity we carry out is about keeping people safe.

‘That is our priority and we would appeal for calm.’

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