Four arrested over the murder of Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKee


According to a statement from Police Service Northern Ireland, the four were arrested in Londonderry on Tuesday morning under the Terrorism Act.

The anti-terror legislation was used because the New IRA dissident Republican group admitted responsibility for McKee’s killing, the police said. In a statement to a local newspaper, the group claimed McKee’s death was an accident and apologized.

The men, aged 20, 27, 29 and 52, were taken into custody in Belfast.

McKee was shot dead in April 2019 amid rioting in the Creggan area of the Northern Irish city, which is referred to as Derry by Irish nationalists and as Londonderry by British unionists.

McKee, who was 29, was standing close to a police vehicle on April 18 when she was wounded by a single gunman firing shots into a residential area. She died soon after from her injuries, police said.

She was the first journalist to be killed in the United Kingdom since 2001, according to the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists.

McKee had been identified as a rising star in journalism, and spent much of her career reporting on the reverberations of sectarian conflict in her home country.

Her funeral was attended by leaders of British and Irish politics, and a mural dedicated to her has been painted in Belfast.

Police have also renewed their call for witnesses.

“I have always believed that some people within the community know what happened and who was involved, I understand that people may be frightened to talk to us,” Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said in a statement Tuesday.

He added: “I have previously given my personal assurance relating to anonymity for the purpose of this investigation and I renew this assurance today, as we approach the anniversary of Lyra’s murder.”

The police also asked for the public to share mobile phone footage of the incident.

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