Political leaders in Northern Ireland have condemned the overnight killing of a police officer in the province. It is the second deadly attack in as many days to target security forces, raising fears of a return to sectarian violence. The death of the police officer patrolling in the town of Craigavon comes just days after two soldiers were shot dead in Antrim.
Britain’s Northern Ireland Secretary, Shaun Woodward, said: “This was a brutal attack and I’m afraid it shows just how ruthless these criminals are. But you know we’ve got to remember that we know very few details about this … What we do know today is that the politicians in Northern Ireland showed a unity of purpose in the way that they rejected the violence of the weekend, and I think that’s first of all an example for us all.” A dissident group called the Continuity IRA has claimed responsibility for the police officer’s murder, and the group the Real IRA said it was behind the killing of the soldiers. The dissidents want an end to British rule and a united Ireland. However, they have been shunned by the province’s politicians, who have put aside years of enmity to work together in a devolved national assembly. Politicians on all sides have condemned the latest violence, vowing that the peace process will not be shaken.