Derry riot after PSNI force evacuation

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Rioting erupted in the Creggan area of Derry this week as scores of PSNI carried out raids in the area. Petrol bombs were thrown at a line of police Landrovers on Monday in Creggan Heights.

Around 15 houses were evacuated while PSNI searches took place. The PSNI later said they found a device in a car in the area.

The confrontation in the Creggan followed a particularly violent police raid in Strabane. Saoradh said the PSNI had “stormed” a house of a local Republican in Strabane “smashing the door in”.

“The man was assaulted in his own home, stripped down naked, they forced a bolier suit on him and dragged him off to Musgrave interrogation centre,” they said.

“To add salt to the wound, they lifted his 5 year old daughter from her bed and put her out into the freezing cold, the ransacking of his home went on to 7.30am this morning.”

The PSNI claimed they had discovered a rocket device immediately above the PSNI barracks in the town which could have launched shells into their base. It had “failed to deploy” but it was “set up and ready to go”, they said.

Saoradh said “upwards of 80 Crown Force personnel including armed British soldiers and countless undercover operatives” had been used in the subsequent raids in Derry.

“Not content with targeting legitimate political activists and their children during heavy handed home invasions, Crown Forces attempted to profile an entire community as they shifted their attention to Creggan,” they said.

“Upwards of 80 Crown Force personnel including armed British Soldiers and countless undercover operatives descended upon central Creggan.

“These unwanted British mercenaries had to utilise such a large number of personnel complete with heavy weaponry and armoured vehicles to saturate the estate as they don’t have the support of the people.”

Saoradh Doire representative Paddy Gallagher said the riot had been provoked when the PSNI attempted to evacuate local homes using threats of detention under British legislation.

“They knew, in traditional fashion, the people of Creggan would resist them. British Crown Forces and their cheerleaders within Constitutional Nationalism know that there is absolutely no support in our communities for Crown Forces, nor has there ever been.

“As residents continued to resist the draconian actions of Crown Forces, one local female was physically attacked, being head butted, by one of the British stormtroopers.”

Sinn Féin Assembly member Karen Mullan said there had been “significant disruption” resulting in residents being forced to leave their homes.

She condemned those involved in the rioting. “There is absolutely no justification for the actions which serve no purpose other than to put people at risk of serious harm and make the situation worse for local residents trying to get on with their lives.”

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