Northern Ireland: 2 arrested over journalist Lyra McKee′s murder | News | DW | 20.04.2019
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Northern Ireland: 2 arrested over journalist Lyra McKee's murder

Two men have been brought to Belfast for questioning over the murder of reporter Lyra McKee during a street riot in Londonderry. It is believed McKee was hit by a stray bullet aimed at police.

Police in Northern Ireland said on Saturday that they had detained two men in connection with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Londonderry/Derry on Thursday night.

The suspects were arrested under terrorism laws and have been transferred to Belfast for questioning.

"Major Investigation Team detectives have arrested two men, aged 18 and 19 under the Terrorism Act, in connection with the murder," the Police Service of Northern Ireland said in a statement on Saturday morning.

McKee, 29, was fatally shot during street riots on Thursday night in the Creggan area of Londonderry which is close to the border with the Republic. It is possible that the investigative journalist was struck by a stray bullet aimed at police.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton had earlier said that one or more gunmen had fired at officers during the unrest.

IRA splinter group

The New IRA is one of several splinter groups in Northern Ireland that reject the 1998 Good Friday agreement that brought an end to decades of violence between Republicans, who want a united Ireland, and Unionists, who want the province of Northern Ireland to remain part of the UK. The group is also thought to be responsible for a January car bombing in Londonderry that did not cause any injuries.

Watch video 02:01

Northern Ireland: Journalist killed during riots in Derry

Political reaction

Irish President Michael D. Higgins urged dissidents to think on their "appalling" actions after he traveled to Belfast in the wake of the murder.

British Prime Minister Theresa May called the killing "shocking and truly senseless." She did not travel to Northern Ireland but spent Friday marshalling a running race in her Maidenhead constituency.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier wrote: "The tragic murder of Lyra McKee is a reminder of how fragile peace still is in Northern Ireland."

Potential snuffed out

Lyra McKee became famous in Northern Ireland in 2014, when her "Letter to my 14-year-old self" described the emotionally wrenching struggle of growing up gay in Belfast.

She recently signed a publishing deal for two books.

Her partner, Sarah Canning, speaking at a vigil on Friday night, highlighted the loss of McKee's amazing potential.

Her murder "has left me without the love of my life, the woman I was planning to grow old with … It has left so many friends without their confidante," said Canning.

es/jm (AFP, AP)

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