Sixth man arrested after attempted murder of police officer in Omagh

Police investigating the attempted murder of Det Ch Insp John Caldwell have arrested a sixth man. The 71-year-old was arrested in Omagh on Saturday under the Terrorism Act. Det Ch Insp Caldwell was shot multiple times in front of his young son at a sports complex in Omagh, County Tyrone, after coaching under-15s at football.

Earlier, detectives were given more time to question four men already held in connection with Wednesday evening’s shooting. A court in Belfast granted an extension to the detention of the suspects, aged 22, 38, 45 and 47, until 22:00 GMT on Tuesday.

They and another man, aged 43, remain in custody having been arrested on Thursday and Friday in the Omagh and Coalisland areas of County Tyrone. Det Ch Insp Caldwell is critically ill in hospital following the attack. Policing representative body the Police Federation for Northern Ireland said he had suffered life-changing injuries.

On Saturday more than 1,000 people took part in a walk and a rally to show support for the senior Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officer who was off duty when he was shot.

Many attending the rally held posters which said “no going back! Unite against paramilitary violence”. The PSNI’s main line of inquiry is that dissident republican group the New IRA was responsible for shooting the 48-year-old in the car park of the Youth Sport Omagh site.

Dissident republicans oppose the 1998 Good Friday Agreement peace deal and continue to use violence to attempt to unite Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland.

The route from Beragh Swifts FC to Beragh Red Knights GAA club was short but significant – Constable Ronan Kerr was a member of the GAA club when he was murdered in 2011. On Saturday afternoon, after the walk, police confirmed that a security alert was ongoing in the Beragh area after a suspicious object was found on Dervahroy Road. The PSNI said it was too early to speculate on whether the events were linked.

Source: BBC

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Luciana Berger

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