Two people have been shot in separate attacks in the North Irish city of Londonderry, police reported. The city on the border with Ireland was the scene of a car bombing last month that was claimed by radical nationalists.
The victims, reported to be men in their 30s, were treated by paramedics at the scene and taken to a hospital for further treatment.
Witnesses reported shots fired at two nearby locations in the Ballymagroarty area of Londonderry, also known as Derry, after 8 p.m. on Friday evening. In what are believed to be two separate incidents, both men were shot in the leg; one of the victims also suffered a gunshot wound to his hands.
SHOOTING IN BALLYMAC
It depresses me that I’ve déjà vu writing this. Two males were shot in Paramilitary Style Attacks around 8pm in two nearby locations in Ballymac
— PSNI DC&S District (@PSNIDCSDistrict) February 1, 2019
None of the injuries inflicted by the unknown perpetrators are believed to be life-threatening. Police labelled the incidents “paramilitary style attacks” and the assailants themselves “criminal thugs.”
The shooting has been condemned by local legislators, with Mark H Durkan, a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for Foyle, saying that violence only leads “to more victims and create more violence.” No arrests have been made and no information has been released regarding the motive for the crimes.
The shootings came just two weeks after a car bomb rocked downtown Londonderry. The explosives were planted in a stolen pizza delivery van parked outside a local courthouse. No one was injured, and police suspected the ‘New IRA’ – one of the IRA splinter groups – to be behind the attack. Two men were arrested in hot pursuit.
The ‘New IRA’ does not recognize the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that has helped to reduce the level of violence in the border area.
There were also speculations that the blast might have been triggered by Brexit negotiations, with the Irish backstop being the most contentious issue in the UK Parliament.
However, the group calling itself the IRA claimed responsibility shortly after the attack. They said the UK’s Brexit shenanigans “had no bearing” on their actions, warning that they “won’t be going anywhere.”
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