The dissident republican group the New IRA was most likely responsible for the fatal shooting of a journalist during overnight rioting in the city of Londonderry, police in Northern Ireland said Friday. The Police Service of Northern Ireland said 29-year-old journalist and author Lyra McKee died after she was shot during rioting in the Creggan area. Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said a gunman fired a number of shots at police during the unrest Thursday evening. "We believe this to be a terrorist act," Hamilton said. "We believe it has been carried out by violent dissident republicans." A murder investigation has been launched but there have been no arrests, reports the AP. There has been an increase in tensions in Northern Ireland in recent months with sporadic violence, much of it focused in Londonderry, also known as Derry.
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. It is regarded as the largest of the splinter dissident groups still operating. McKee 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. The BBC reports the National Union of Journalists called her one of Northern Ireland's "most promising journalists." Hours before her death she tweeted a photo of the riot with the words: "Derry tonight. Absolute madness."
(Read more journalists killed