N. Ireland deputy leader McGuinness's nephew shot: reports

14th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Gunmen have shot the nephew of Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness in the leg, reports said on Wednesday.

Ruairi Canning and a second man were treated in hospital after receiving gunshot wounds on Tuesday in Londonderry, the British province's second biggest city, according to the BBC and local broadcaster UTV.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed a shooting took place in the High Park area of Londonderry at 1915 GMT on Tuesday.

A 23-year-old man received a gunshot wound to his left leg and 20-year-old man was shot in the right leg, police said, but refused to confirm their identities.

"Both men were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment to their injuries, that are not believed to be life threatening," said a police statement.

Both broadcasters identified Canning as McGuinness's nephew.

Sinn Fein politician McGuinness, 61, is a controversial figure, having undergone a long transition from an IRA paramilitary commander to a key figure in the peace process that brought an end to conflict in the province.

He ran in the election for president of the neighbouring Irish Republic in October but finished in third place.

Northern Ireland's three decades of conflict, known as the Troubles, pitted Catholic nationalist groups, such as the IRA, opposed to rule of the province from London against Protestant unionists who were in favour.

© 2011 AFP

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