2 teenagers arrested in connection with the murder of Lyra McKee, the UK journalist killed reporting on riots in Northern Ireland

Journalist Lyra McKeeLyra McKee was shot dead on Thursday night as she reported on riots in the Northern Irish city of DerryReuters

  • Two men arrested in connection with murder of journalist killed in Northern Ireland on Thursday.
  • Northern Irish police confirmed Saturday that two men, aged 18 and 19, had been arrested under the UK's Terrorism Act.
  • Lyra McKee, 29, was killed as she reported on the riots.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee, who was killed on Thursday night while reporting on riots in the Northern Irish city of Derry.

Northern Irish police said on Twitter Saturday morning that the men, aged 18 and 19, were arrested under the Terrorism Act. It added that they have been taken to Musgrave Serious Crime suite, a police facility in Belfast.

On Thursday night, McKee was shot in the head in the Irish nationalist Creggan area of Derry, while reporting on a riot that had broken out in response to a house search that a large number of officers conducted in the area.

Police said they were trying to prevent militant attacks this weekend. At least 50 petrol bombs were thrown and two cars set on fire.

McKee, who was named Sky News Young Journalist of the Year in 2006, was writing a book on the disappearance of young people during the three decades of sectarian in Northern Ireland that largely ended with the 1998 deal.

She had also written about her struggles growing up gay in the British province.

The death of McKee, described by her publisher Faber as a rising star of investigative journalism, was condemned by both Irish Catholic nationalist and pro-British Protestant unionist politicians.

British Prime Minister Theresa May described the attack as "shocking and truly senseless."

"This was an act of hate," Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said in a statement in front of government buildings in Dublin. "This was an attack not just on one citizen, it was an attack on all of us, our nation and our freedoms."

Lyra Mckee murder flowersFlowers are seen at the scene where the 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead, in Londonderry, Northern Ireland April 19, 2019.Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

The New IRA (Irish Republican Army) group, which has been responsible for several attacks in recent years, was most likely behind the killing, Assistant Chief Constable Hamilton said.

Saoradh, a political party with links to dissident militants who still embrace violence to merge Northern Ireland with Ireland, said in a statement it understood McKee was killed accidentally by a "Republican Volunteer."

Leona O'Neill, a local journalist at the scene of the shooting, said that after McKee was hit and fell beside a police Land Rover, officers rushed her to Altnagelvin Hospital, where she died.

Reuters reporting by Amanda Ferguson

Add Comment()
Comments ()
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.