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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 21 October, 2019

Teenager 'in a stable condition' after being shot in legs in Coleraine

Matthew Campbell was shot after a gang forced their way into a house in a staunchly loyalist area of Coleraine.

Image: Paul Faith/PA Wire/Press Association Images

MASKED GUNMEN SHOT a 15-year-old schoolboy in the legs in Northern Ireland this morning in an attack widely blamed on paramilitary groups.

Matthew Campbell was shot after a gang forced their way into a house in a staunchly loyalist area of Coleraine.

The teenager underwent emergency surgery after the early morning attack and was in a stable condition, according to the Belfast Health Trust.

Will Kerr, assistant chief constable of  the PSNI, described the attack as “madness” but said it was too early to identify any suspects.

“Anybody who thinks shooting a 15-year-old progresses any legitimate aim — it is just absolute madness, it really is, the shooting of children,” he said.

“There is no place in any modern, any way civil society for the shooting of children. It is not just a crime, it is morally reprehensible and we will continue to chase those people and continue to put people before the courts.”

Coleraine’s mayor David Harding said the local community was shocked by the brutal nature of the shooting.

“The people of this town want nothing to do with these reminders of our past and simply want to live their lives in peace,” he said.

The attack comes amid a rise in tensions in the North in recent weeks.  There have been a string of security alerts, including the attempted murder of an ex-police officer, who had a bomb placed under his car.

Petrol bombs were also thrown at the Belfast office of the Alliance Party at the weekend.

- © AFP, 2013

Read: Masked men tie woman up and lock man in toilet in Lisburn robbery

Read: Brian Hayes: ‘Northern Ireland must make its voice heard on the UK’s EU membership’

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