Journalist shot dead in Northern Ireland


A reporter specializing in the decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland was shot and killed last night during riots in Derry, according to police.

Lyra McKee — whose book detailing disappearances that occurred during The Troubles, a period of civil unrest in Northern Ireland that was marked by bombings and other violent acts — was struck by gunfire aimed at police officers Thursday night as law enforcement clashed with protesters, according to USA Today.

{mosads}Police in Londonderry, who are handling the investigation, told USA Today that they are reviewing the incident as a terrorist act.

“I was standing beside this young woman when she fell beside a police Land Rover tonight in Creggan #Derry. I called an ambulance for her but police put her in the back of their vehicle and rushed her to hospital where she died,” a journalist for The Belfast Telegraph wrote on Twitter. “Sick to my stomach tonight.”

“The death of Lyra McKee in last night’s suspected terrorist incident in Londonderry is shocking and truly senseless,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said Friday in a statement. “My deepest condolences go to her family, friends and colleagues. She was a journalist who died doing her job with great courage.”

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also condemned the killing and the violence aimed at law enforcement Thursday evening, asserting that “we cannot allow those who want propagate violence, fear and hate to drag us back to the past” in a statement, according to USA Today.

Thursday’s riots were reportedly sparked by police action ahead of celebrations marking the botched Easter Rising rebellion in 1912, as law enforcement reportedly raided houses in Derry for weapons ahead of the anniversary.

Her death has been blamed on the “New IRA,” a group representing members of the Irish Republican Army who did not agree to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ended conflict between Protestants and Catholics in the region.

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