Assault rifle seized in police operation

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Photo of the seized firearm

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A second arrest has been made in Derry/Londonderry as part of an ongoing investigation by detectives from the Police Service’s Terrorism Investigation Unit (TIU) into the activities of the New IRA.

This investigation, which involved a public safety operation in the city last night, Tuesday 21 May, resulted in the recovery of a firearm - an AK-47 variant - (pictured) and a quantity of ammunition from a vehicle that was stopped at around 6.45pm. A 56-year-old man was arrested at the scene under the Terrorism Act 2000, and taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite for questioning.

Further searches were conducted  later in the evening, in Lone Moor Gardens and in Rossnagalliagh, and a second man, aged 59-years-old, was arrested under the Terrorism Act and taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite for questioning. Both men arrested remain in custody this morning.

The investigation continues. 

During the search in Lone Moor Gardens, a group of approximately 50-60 people – some of whom were masked - gathered at the bottom of Southway. Regrettably, there was a period of sustained disorder.Police officers and vehicles had fireworks, bottles and masonry, and other items thrown at them. A number of police landrovers sustained damage, with wing mirrors being ripped off. Fortunately, no officers sustained any injuries.  

Derry City and Strabane Superintendent Willy Calderwood described the scenes of disorder as "disappointing and disheartening".

"Our officers were in the area last night for the purpose of keeping people safe. That is our priority and, through the public safety operation, we have taken a weapon off the streets that could potentially be used to cause serious harm or, at the very worst, to kill.

"The attacks on our officers are incredibly disappointing and disheartening, and I want to pay tribute to my colleagues for what they endured. They demonstrated courage and professionalism and restraint in the face of this violence.  

"We understand and appreciate that operations of this nature can be disruptive, and we always work to keep any disruption to a minimum but, what we have seized demonstrates they are, unfortunately, necessary. 

“The seizure from last night is significant and cannot be under estimated. 

“As the investigation continues, I want to reassure the community we will continue to work to keep people safe. That is of paramount importance. We remain grateful for the support of local communities and encourage anyone with information, or concerns, to contact us on 101." 

You can also make a report online via or alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at

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