Police make four arrests in killing of N.Irish journalist

A mural depicting murdered journalist Lyra McKee is seen in Belfast September 6, 2019. — Reuters pic
A mural depicting murdered journalist Lyra McKee is seen in Belfast September 6, 2019. — Reuters pic

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LONDON, Sept 15 — Police in Northern Ireland today said they had arrested four men under the Terrorism Act in connection with the killing of journalist Lyra McKee.

The men, aged 19, 20, 21 and 33, were detained early today in Londonderry, in the northwest of the British province, where McKee was killed in April 2019. 

They were taken to a police station in Belfast, where they will be questioned later, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said.

“These arrests are the culmination of a detailed two-year investigation into Lyra’s murder and the events which preceded it,” said Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy.

McKee, 29, was shot in the head while standing near a police vehicle as dissident pro-Ireland republicans clashed with officers in the Creggan area of Londonderry.

Londonderry is known as Derry to republicans, who want an end to British sovereignty in the province in favour of union with the Irish Republic. 

Dissident republican group the New IRA took responsibility for the killing and offered its “full and sincere apologies” to her loved ones, saying she was “tragically killed while standing beside enemy forces”.  

Her death provoked a widespread outcry across Northern Ireland and led to calls for politicians to agree to restore the province’s then-suspended power-sharing institutions.

Wednesday’s development comes after several previous arrests in the case.

Investigators in February charged Paul McIntyre, 52, with murder.

Police have also confirmed that a gun recovered during searches in Londonderry was the weapon that had been used to kill McKee. — AFP

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