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PFNI calls for all-out community offensive to 'take back streets' from terrorists


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Bombs thrown by pre-teenage children at officers in sixth night of Londonderry violence.

PFNI chairman Mark Lindsay: Young, vulnerable kids are encouraged to riot and cause mayhem

PFNI chairman Mark Lindsay: Young, vulnerable kids are encouraged to riot and cause mayhem


Dissident republican terrorists are getting vulnerable children to do their dirty work trying to kill Police Service of Northern Ireland officers in what is tantamount to “child abuse”, it has been claimed.

Three separate attempts have been mounted to murder PSNI men and women orchestrated by a “pitiless, heartless bunch of cowards”, say rank-and-file officers.

Policing across the province has called for an all-out community offensive to take back the streets from the gangsters and publicly voice support for the force – as rioting has flared in Londonderry for a sixth night running.

Pre-teenage children are being used as the missile carriers for a barrage of petrol bombs, bricks and bottles launched at the under-siege blue line.

A crowd of among 200 youths gathered as violence broke out at around 9pm – the disruption following the first Twelfth of July parade held in the city in five years.

The officers came under a "prolonged and sustained attack" from a total of 76 explosive devices on Thursday night. A fire was also lit on a main flyover.

During the disorder, officers replied by firing four plastic bullets.

Some of the petrol bombs were thrown at passing vehicles but the majority were aimed at police stationed on the city walls overlooking the Bogside and on the Fahan Street interface.

Police said three men aged 18, 22 and 50 were arrested. The 22-year-old was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

PSNI Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said it was a "miracle" that no officers were killed or injured with the attacks being driven by older dissident republicans.

And Police Federation for Northern Ireland chairman Mark Lindsay pulled no punches when he told Police Oracle: “The terrorists who skulk in the shadows get children – some no older than 12 – to do their dirty work by firing petrol bombs, bricks and bottles at police lines.

“Once the police engage, the bomber and gunman take control and they really don’t care who gets in the way or who is hurt in their indiscriminate attacks.

“This is child abuse. Young, vulnerable kids are encouraged to riot and cause mayhem so that the bomber and gunman can gain a better vantage position. It is sickening what they are doing.”

Only with “professionalism and courage” of officers averting a tragedy, Mr Lindsay added: “There must be an all-out community offensive to rid this particular community, and others, of the scourge of paramilitarism.

“The same message holds true for areas blighted by so-called loyalist paramilitaries.

“I know the PSNI will do all it can to assist communities. People deserve a better future than the one terrorists offer. The time to make a stand is now, for the sake of all our futures.”

Supt McCalmont said: “I am saddened, disheartened and frustrated that yet again police officers committed to keeping this local community safe have been attacked by a small number of people within it.

He added: “I am asking every community leader and every single person with influence in Londonderry to help us stop these attacks on police and the wider community of the city.”

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton, who earlier in the week rejected what he called the "social media myths" surrounding policing operations in Londonderry in recent days, praised his officers and said the attacks must stop.

He said 405 officers deployed could not be a case of “imbalanced policing”, adding:  "I’m calling on political and civic leadership to publicly voice support for the police and condemn this violence before someone is killed or seriously injured.”

DUP leader Arlene Foster added: “The police are risking life and limb trying to tackle this. All violence must be condemned."

View On Police Oracle

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