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AK47 murder attempt on cops may have been 'opportunist' after Traveller shooting

NewsBy Jamie McDowell
The car the police officers were in, riddled with bullets
The car the police officers were in, riddled with bullets
The burnt-out BMW that was reported to be involved in the shooting
The burnt-out BMW that was reported to be involved in the shooting

Tensions are running high in the Rossnareen area of west Belfast after two shootings took place in the space of two weeks.

Last Thursday morning a member of the Traveller community, Martin Gavin, was shot in the upper body as he traveled in a car with his wife.

And last night shots were fired from an AK47 at an unmarked police car on the same street.

Sunday World sources in the area have told us that the car was there as police have increased security in the area following fears of a Traveller feud.

But dissident republicans may have used the continued police presence as an opportunity to launch a murder bid on officers.

The police car was riddled with bullets and cops inside were remarkably lucky not to be hit.

 

 

An eyewitness told the Belfast Telegraph that the gunman picked up the shell casings after the attack before fleeing.

The car used in the attack, a black BMW 3 Series, with false number plate 05C 24774,  was later found burnt out in Cluain More Drive in west Belfast.

A driver had been waiting for the gunman in Tullagh Park.

A source said: "There were and still are guns in the area. It's hard to confirm but it's pretty much accepted around here that dissidents used the presence of police after the last few Traveller shootings to try and kill a cop.

"It would have been easy to get rid of the gun, too.

"People in the area are fed up with all that's going on and want to live in peace."

After the shooting of Mr Gavin last week, a shooting took place on the Monagh Road in Belfast's Turf Lodge area.

A van with three men inside was riddled with bullets as they waited outside shops.

It is widely believed that the shooting was a revenge attack for the shooting of Mr Gavin.

PSNI Chief Superintendent Nigel Grimshaw said: "This was a mindless and reckless attempt to kill police officers who were carrying out routine duties as part of investigations into recent serious crime. The two officers were badly shaken but they were not injured."

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