The Real IRA in Derry has said it was behind a gun attack on a PSNI patrol in the Glen Road area of the city and warned that more attacks will follow.
In a statement, the group also denied PSNI reports that civilians were in the immediate vicinity when the shots were fired.
A spokesperson for the dissident republican group, using a recognised codeword, claimed its Volunteers waited until civilians had left the area before opening fire.
“We tried to engage them on two occasions but they were surrounded by civilians, including children, and were forced to pull back. The volunteers then engaged the police officers when they got in the car and their vehicle was hit by six rounds. When they did engage there was no civilians around the target.
“The fact that the volunteers pulled back when they were in a closer position undoubtedly saved the lives of the police officers,” the group stated.
The RIRA claimed the PSNI use civilians as “shields” when responding to call outs.
“They deliberately surround themselves with civilians, especially young people, who they use as shields.
“We reiterate our call for people to stay away from the British police and we call on parents to tell their children to stay away from them and not allow themselves to be used as shields,” the spokesperson said.
In a second statement, the organisation’s Fermanagh Brigade also claimed responsibility for an explosive device which targeted a member of the PSNI in the village of Maguiresbridge in December.