Police in Londonderry came under attack with petrol bombs during serious public disorder in the Moss Park area of the city this evening.
A PSNI spokesperson said one of the petrol bombs, thrown in nearby Glengalliagh Park, landed close to a number of young children.
It is understood five petrol bombs in total were thrown at officers while they were in attendance at a security alert in the area.
Police were called to Moss Park at around 7pm following a report of a suspicious device in the vicinity of St Paul’s Primary School, which was being used as a polling station.
The alert has now ended and Moss Park has reopened to traffic.
Army Technical Officers examined the suspicious object and declared it an elaborate hoax.
Police have recovered six petrol bombs from the area, along with 20 paint bombs and two crates of empty bottles.
Police subsequently arrested three male youths, two teenagers aged 17 and a boy aged 12 in connection with the disorder. All three are currently in custody assisting with enquiries.
Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said: “There is no doubt my officers were lured into the area this evening and that those involved in this orchestrated disorder had one aim in mind – to attack police.
“This was all the more reckless by the fact that one of the petrol bombs hurled at police landed in close proximity to young children who could have been left seriously injured, or worse.
“This security alert is the second this month in this area, impacting the same community that was disrupted on May 2 during local Council elections.
“It cannot be lost on anyone the disruption this has caused in the local community, let alone the potential for serious harm that could have been caused.
“I want to thank the public for their patience however when it comes to keeping people safe we take no chances. I would urge anyone who has information about the disorder this evening to contact police at Strand Road on 101 quoting reference number 1639 of 23/05/19.”
Alternatively, information can also be provided anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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