PSNI officers were attacked and Land Rovers damaged during rioting in the Creggan area today, Thursday 7 September, after three searches by the PSNI Terrorism Investigation Unit.
Two of the searches are complete, while the third search is ongoing in Creevagh Heights in the Bligh's Lane area.
In addition to a firearm and a quantity of cash found earlier during initial searches, detectives have also found what is believed to be a suspected firearm, a number of suspected pipe bombs and a quantity of suspected ammunition. These will all now be subject to forensic examination.
The PSNI said: "Disorder developed this afternoon, at around 4pm in Creevagh Heights. Petrol bombs, rocks, masonry, steel poles and traffic cones were thrown at police, damaging police land rovers. Police remain in the area and would urge drivers to avoid the area if possible. One officer has been struck on the head.”
Derry City & Strabane Superintendent William Calderwood added: "The search in Creevagh Heights is continuing. We appreciate the disruption search activity can have but I want to reassure you of this - our presence in the area and activity we carry out is about keeping people safe. That is our priority and we would appeal for calm."
At 7:40pm SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP appealed for an end to the disorder.
“The disorder on the streets of our city tonight needs to come to an end,” he said. “There is nothing to be gained from attacking police officers in Derry, the young kids involved are only putting themselves and their futures in jeopardy. I understand the frustration that people in our community experience during prolonged searches but this is not the way to respond.
“I am appealing for parents to get in touch with their children, to make sure they know where they are and that they are safe this evening.”
“The recovery of a gun, ammunition and suspected pipe bomb materials is clearly deeply concerning. There is no place for any of this in our city or anywhere in the North.
“People here want to leave in peace with their neighbours. Those who want to bring violence back to our community for their own ends have nothing to offer and have been rejected by the people of Derry and Ireland.
“The SDLP will be meeting with the PSNI in the coming days to discuss these matters.”