UK

A police officer has been taken to hospital after being shot in Omagh in Northern Ireland.

The officer was reportedly shot multiple times at a sports complex just before 8pm this evening in Killyclogher Road in the County Tyrone town.

The shooting took place in front of young people at a football coaching session, according to Ulster Unionist Party MLA Tom Elliott.

He tweeted: “Despicable, cowardly action. No place in society for this.”

Irish media are reporting police are searching for two suspects who were dressed in black.

Two sources have told Reuters the officer was shot a “number of times” while other reports suggest he was a senior officer who was off duty at the time.

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Colum Eastwood MP, leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, has said the shooting is a “chilling reminder of the horrifying violence that criminal gangs are willing to visit on the people of Northern Ireland”.

He added: “That an attack like this took place in Omagh, a place that bears the scars of violence more than many others but where people have shown immense strength, compassion and grace, must make this a powerful moment of reflection for all of us.

“This is a moment to rededicate ourselves to the primacy of peace and resistance against violence. It is a moment for us all, one community and one people, to say we are never going back to this – not in our name.”

Democractic Unionist Party leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson condemned the attack.

He tweeted: “Terrible news from Omagh tonight.

“Our heart goes out to the family of this courageous police officer and to his colleagues. We condemn outright the cowards responsible for this. These terrorists have nothing to offer and they must be brought to justice. We stand with the PSNI.”

Former Stormont justice minister, Naomi Long, said her thoughts were with the officer, his family, colleagues and all those affected by the shooting.

She branded the attack an “evil act of cowardice”.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said they received a 999 call at 8.02pm following reports of an incident in the Slievard area of Killyclogher

“NIAS dispatched a Rapid Response Paramedician Emergency Crew and an ambulance officer to the incident,” a spokesperson said.

“Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, one patient was taken by ambulance to Altnagelvin Area Hospital.”

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