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Vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs have said that “no amount of protests” will force it to give up violence.

In a statement released to the ‘Journal’, the group also said it was responsible for two gun attacks in the north west over the last week.

RAAD said it was behind the shooting of a Derry man in St Johnston on Tuesday evening. The 39 year-old man, originally from Derry, who was shot in the arms and legs. The organisation also said it shot 18 year-old Phil O’Donnell in Creggan last Thursday night.

A public rally, organised by the campaign group, ‘RAAD Not in Our Name,’ was held in Guildhall Square last Suturday. But the vigilante group has responded by saying that “no amount of protests will stop RAAD operation”.

The group also rejected claims that it had exiled five people from Derry earlier this week, despite claims by Michael Doherty from the Peace and Reconciliation Group. RAAD claimed that Mr Doherty “has not resolved one single case where an individual has come into contact with RAAD”.

The group also repeated its death threat against local businessman, Ray Coyle. RAAD further claimed that an unnamed local MLA and community groups were told that “Mr Coyle must give a public undertaking never to be involved in the drugs’ trade” before the threat is lifted.

“The death threat remains no matter where he hides until he complies with the community’s wishes.”

Mr Coyle, who ran the ‘Red Star’ shop on Waterloo Street, has denied any involvement with illegal drugs.

Campaign group ‘RAAD - Not in Our Name’ condemned the statement and vowed to continue holding public rallies, which they said had encouraged people to speak of their experiences.

A spokesperson said; “This statement from RAAD amounts to a direct challenge to the people of Derry.”

The city centre rallies organised by RAAD Not in Our Name have empowered people to come forward.” and relate their experiences. This would be very difficult for people to do as individuals,” a spokesperson for the group said.