Northern Ireland Police arrest two people following Lyra McKee murder

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Northern Ireland Police arrest two people following Lyra McKee murder

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Updated

April 20, 2019 18:12:03

Northern Ireland Police have arrested two men in connection with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee.

Key points:

  • Police believe Lyra McKee was killed by Irish nationalist militants
  • The shooting took place as rioting hit the Irish nationalist Creggan area on Thursday
  • About 50 petrol bombs were thrown in the conflict, with two cars set ablaze

McKee was killed by a gunman shooting in the direction of police officers on Thursday (local time).

She died shortly after tweeting a photo of a police vehicle being pelted by petrol bombs, with the caption: “Derry tonight. Absolute madness”.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland tweeted on Saturday morning that two men, aged 18 and 19, had been arrested under the Terrorism Act in connection with Ms McKee’s murder.

Rioting hit the Irish nationalist Creggan area late on Thursday after a raid by police, who said they were trying to prevent militant attacks during the Easter weekend.

At least 50 petrol bombs were thrown and two cars were set on fire.

The attack, which shocked the region, was likely the work of Irish nationalist militants opposed to the 1998 Good Friday peace deal, police said.

‘An inspiring thinker’

McKee rose to prominence in 2014 with a moving blog post — “Letter to my 14 year old self” — describing the struggle of growing up gay in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland.

She had recently signed a book deal.

In 2006, McKee was awarded Sky News Young Journalist of the Year and was named as one of the “30 under 30 in media” by Forbes Magazine 10 years later.

She wrote for publications both in Northern Ireland and aboard, including the Independent newspaper, the Atlantic and BuzzFeed News.

In the wake of her death, a number of high profile public figures in Northern Ireland have shared tributes to the young journalist.

“She was an inspiring thinker and journalist,” Irish Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney wrote on Twitter.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, holding a rainbow LGBT flag, said: “I carry this flag for Lyra, an activist, a journalist, a child of the peace process, and a woman who should not have lost her life at the age of 29.”

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster said: “When people come out with guns to shoot people from their own community, then we have to say enough is enough.”

ABC/AP

Topics:

terrorism,

unrest-conflict-and-war,

northern-ireland,

united-kingdom

First posted

April 20, 2019 17:36:22

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