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Police in Derry launch attempted murder probe after petrol bomb thrown at officer

The incident happened yesterday afternoon.

Image: PA

POLICE IN THE North have launched an attempted murder investigation after a petrol bomb was thrown directly at an officer at the scene of a fire. 

The incident happened at the scene of a house fire in Creggan yesterday.

The officer was with colleagues who responded to the fire in St Cecilia’s Walk, which had been reported shortly before 11am.

When officers were at the scene a number of young people gathered and threw stones at them. As police remained to secure the scene throughout the afternoon, a petrol bomb, which had been lit, was directly thrown at an officer. 

Superintendent Clive Beatty said: “Our colleague was one of several of our officers who had responded to the fire, and was working to keep people safe when he was targeted in such a senseless manner.

“Thankfully, he acted quickly and prevented serious injury by deflecting the petrol bomb away from his body. He sustained an injury to his hand in doing so, however, he was able to remain on duty and continue to serve our community.

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“What happened is unacceptable. No one should go to work and be placed in such a dangerous situation. Were it not for his quick reaction, the consequences could have resulted in serious injury, or worse.” 

Detectives from Criminal Investigation Branch are leading the investigation into both the fire at the property, which has been ruled as deliberate, and into the subsequent disorder and attack on the officer.

Detective Inspector Gareth Lavery said: “We are treating this horrific attack on our colleague as attempted murder, and I have a number of appeals to make as part of our investigation into the incident, the fire and subsequent disorder.”

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