‘We will defend our community’: RAAD

Vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) says it will be “ferocious” in its defence of the republican and nationalist community in Derry.

The group claims that, in recent weeks, there’s been a “sharp rise “ in attacks on ex-prisoners and their families. They have been targeted because of their beliefs and for simply being republicans,” RAAD said in a statement.

“These thugs and criminals are under the misguided belief that, because the Provisional movement has forgotten its roots, they now have a free hand to beat and intimidate at will.

“RAAD will be ferocious in its defence of the republican and nationalist community. We will target anyone who involves themselves in these activities.” Meanwhile, the group has also claimed responsibility for shooting a man in the Brandywell area of the city on Thursday night last.

A 36-year-old man - who RAAD named in its statement - was shot in the legs by a gang of men who entered a house at Lecky Road at about 11.30 p.m.

A woman who was in the house when the man was shot described those behind the attack as “faceless animals”. Siobhan McGinley said another friend who has Down’s Syndrome was in the house at the time.

She said the incident had left her a “nervous wreck”. Police are appealing to anyone with information about the attack to contact them.