Man arrested over N. Ireland shooting

29th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

A man was being questioned Saturday over the killing of a known Northern Ireland militant who was shot dead in Belfast's Shankill Road Protestant bastion.

The man was arrested late Friday, police said, hours after the killing.

Detectives investigating the murder had "arrested a 40-year-old man", police said, without giving further details.

Bobby Moffett, understood to be well-known in paramilitary circles, was felled by a burst of gunfire. The attack was witnessed by dozens of bystanders, including young children.

The 43-year-old victim was crossing the Shankill Road, a notorious hotspot during three decades of violence between Protestants and Catholics in the British province, when he was shot in the face.

Police do not believe the killing was sectarian. Media reports said the manner of the shooting appeared to point to a feud.

It comes after a resurgence in violence in Northern Ireland over the last 18 months, including the murders of two British soldiers and a policeman in March 2009.

"It is a chilling reminder of a violent past that everyone in the community hoped we had left behind," the Police Service of Northern Ireland said in a statement.

Meanwhile Saturday a device exploded outside a police station in Londonderry, the province's second city.

"Thankfully no-one was hurt in what was a senseless attack," Northern Ireland's Justice Minister David Ford said.

"Those who carried this out refuse to accept the will of the vast majority of people across this island. They will not succeed."

Last week, the Independent Monitoring Commission paramilitary watchdog warned that dissident republican groups remain "highly active and dangerous", even if they command little support.

The IMC said mainstream organisations continue to follow the peaceful path set out by the 1998 Good Friday peace accords, which largely ended the three decades of so-called Troubles.

© 2010 AFP

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