Belfast Telegraph

We opened fire on police' - Real IRA

By Staff Reporter
09 September 2004

The Real IRA today admitted carrying out a gun attack on construction workers at the Strand Road police station in Londonderry.

In a statement, which was accompanied by a recognised codeword, the dissident group said that two of their members carrying assault rifles fired on the workers yesterday.

The statement said that "volunteers of Derry Brigade, Oglaigh na hEireann, drove into the centre of the city specifically to attack the workers".

The group referred to a previous statement released in the wake of a bomb attack on Shackleton army barracks in Ballykelly, Co Derry, in February of this year when it said that "no further warnings" would be issued to "anybody entering or supplying these bases" as they did so "at their own risk".

A lone gunman fired up to 30 shots from what is believed to have been an AK47 rifle at the station at 9.30am yesterday from the junction of Queen Street and Asylum Road.

Scores of people were walking through the area at the time but no one was hurt in the attack, which is believed to have been aimed at construction workers involved in building an extension to the station.

Several cars, however, were hit by bullets and police said it was a miracle no one was killed.

Among the vehicles hit was one owned by a doctor working in the area.

The gunman was seen getting into a maroon Cavalier car which was later found burnt out in the Brandywell area.

A police spokesman today urged anyone who saw the car, registration UIB 7209, in the city yesterday to contact investigating officers.

Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney today called on dissident republicans to abandon their military campaign and develop a political strategy.

"This attack offers nothing to the creation of the new Ireland that republicans have striven for over many years," said Mr McCartney.

"Their campaign has no strategy to achieve a united Ireland and has no support within the vast majority of the republican base.

"In fact, their strategy plays directly into the hands of British securocrats who oppose change and who uses attacks like this to maintain the high level of military presence."

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