Northern Ireland police are investigating whether the assassination attempt on a police officer at Omagh is the work of republican terrorists.
“We are keeping all options open, but first and foremost looking at involvement of the new Irish Republican Army,” a police spokesman said. The victim is “in critical but stable condition” in the hospital. Three people were arrested.
The attack on Wednesday night deeply shocked Northern Ireland. A senior officer of the Northern Ireland Police, John Caldwell, after training a youth football team in his spare time, was shot at by two perpetrators in front of young people, including his own son. Even when Caldwell was already on the ground, the pair kept shooting, according to a colleague.
Caldwell has been involved as a leading detective in multiple rumoured murder cases, including an unsolved murder of a police officer in Omagh in 2011. He was killed at the age of 25 when a bomb exploded under his car. The New IRA is a suspect.
The car of the suspects in Wednesday night’s attack was later found burned out on the outskirts of the village. That’s exactly where one of the deadliest IRA attacks took place in 1998. 29 people were killed when a car bomb exploded in a busy shopping street, 220 people were injured. That makes the suspicion of the new Irish Republican Army (New IRA) all the greater.