Two arrested over deadly shooting of journalist in Northern Ireland

Two arrested over deadly shooting of journalist in Northern Ireland

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LONDON — Police in Northern Ireland say they have arrested two teenagers in connection with the fatal shooting of a journalist during rioting in the city of Londonderry.The men, aged 18 and 19, were detained under anti-terrorism legislation, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said Saturday. No further information was immediately given.Lyra Mckee, 29, was a rising star of investigative journalism. She was shot and killed, probably by a stray bullet, during rioting Thursday night.Police said the New IRA dissident group was most likely responsible and called it a “terrorist act.”

Around 100 people, including youths and members of the media, were at the scene when shots were fired before midnight local time.An eyewitness told the BBC that a gunman fired indiscriminately into a crowd.Leona O’Neill, a local journalist who was present, wrote on Twitter that she was with McKee when she was hit. She said McKee fell beside a police vehicle Land Rover and officers rushed her to hospital, where she died.

McKee had written for publications around the world including The Atlantic and she also edited for California-based news site Mediagazer. Her first book “The Lost Boys” was to be released next year, according to literary agency Janklow & Nesbit UK.

She 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 recently signed a book deal.The New IRA is a small group of republicans who reject the 1998 Good Friday agreement that marked the Irish Republican Army’s embrace of a political solution to the long-running violence known as “The Troubles” that claimed more than 3,700 lives.Special Report

The riot was the latest violent incident this year in Londonderry, also known as Derry.The detonation of a large car bomb outside a courthouse in January highlighted the threat still posed by militant groups opposed to the 1998 peace deal that largely ended three decades of violence in Northern Ireland. No one was injured in the blast.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., led a congressional delegation to the city earlier Thursday, as part of a trip to show support for the peace agreement.British Prime Minister Theresa May called McKee’s killing “shocking and truly senseless.” __EuroNews

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