New IRA apologises for journalist's killing, police arrest woman

In this undated family photo made available Friday April 19, 2019, issued by Northern Ireland Police, showing journalist Lyra McKee who was shot and killed when guns were fired during clashes with police Thursday night April 18, 2019, in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.  Police are investigating the shooting death of 29-year-old McKee, during street violence Thursday night.(Family photo/PSNI via AP)Police in Northern Ireland say they have arrested a 57-year-old woman in connection with the killing of journalist, Lyra McKee. Two men, aged 18 and 19, who were arrested over the killing at the weekend, but were later released.

McKee's death, followed a large car bomb in Londonderry in January that police also blamed on the New IRA, raising fears that small marginalised militant groups are trying to exploit political tensions caused by turmoil over Brexit.

Ms McKee was writing a book on the disappearance of young people during The Troubles.

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Armed police at the scene of unrest in Creggan, Londonderry. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Heavilly armed police guard a crime scene during unrest in the Creggan area of Londonderry. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDONDERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND - APRIL 19: Police attend the scene of a shooting in which a journalist was killed, on Fanad Drive on April 19, 2019 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Journalist and Author Lyra McKee was killed in a 'terror incident' while reporting from the scene of rioting in Derry's Creggan neighbourhood after police raided properties in the Mulroy Park and Galliagh area on the night of Thursday 18th April 2019. Reports say that she was killed as shots were fired from a single gun. Lyra McKee was well known for covering the lasting trauma and the violence of the Northern Ireland Troubles. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Corbis via Getty Images)
LONDONDERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND - APRIL 19: Police attend the scene of a shooting in which a journalist was killed, on Fanad Drive on April 19, 2019 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Journalist and Author Lyra McKee was killed in a 'terror incident' while reporting from the scene of rioting in Derry's Creggan neighbourhood after police raided properties in the Mulroy Park and Galliagh area on the night of Thursday 18th April 2019. Reports say that she was killed as shots were fired from a single gun. Lyra McKee was well known for covering the lasting trauma and the violence of the Northern Ireland Troubles. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Corbis via Getty Images)
LONDONDERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND - APRIL 19: Police attend the scene of a shooting in which a journalist was killed, on Fanad Drive on April 19, 2019 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Journalist and Author Lyra McKee was killed in a 'terror incident' while reporting from the scene of rioting in Derry's Creggan neighbourhood after police raided properties in the Mulroy Park and Galliagh area on the night of Thursday 18th April 2019. Reports say that she was killed as shots were fired from a single gun. Lyra McKee was well known for covering the lasting trauma and the violence of the Northern Ireland Troubles. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Corbis via Getty Images)
LONDONDERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND - APRIL 19: Police attend the scene of a shooting in which a journalist was killed, on Fanad Drive on April 19, 2019 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Journalist and Author Lyra McKee was killed in a 'terror incident' while reporting from the scene of rioting in Derry's Creggan neighbourhood after police raided properties in the Mulroy Park and Galliagh area on the night of Thursday 18th April 2019. Reports say that she was killed as shots were fired from a single gun. Lyra McKee was well known for covering the lasting trauma and the violence of the Northern Ireland Troubles. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Corbis via Getty Images)
Police conduct a crime scene search after shots where fired in Creggan, Londonderry. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Petrol bombs are thrown at police in Creggan, Londonderry. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
The scene of unrest in Creggan, Londonderry. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Petrol bombs are thrown at police in Creggan, Londonderry. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Petrol bombs are thrown at police in Creggan, Londonderry. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A hijacked car explodes after being set on fire in Creggan, Londonderry. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A PSNI officer conducts a search after shots where reportedly fired in Creggan, Londonderry. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Hijacked vehicles on fire in Creggan, Londonderry. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
hijacked vehicles one fire in Creggan, Londonderry. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Armed police in Creggan, Londonderry after shots were fired and petrol bombs were thrown at police. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A burning car in Creggan, Londonderry after petrol bombs were thrown at police. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Armed police in Creggan, Londonderry after shots were fired and petrol bombs were thrown at police. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Armed police in Creggan, Londonderry after shots were fired and petrol bombs were thrown at police. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Armed police in Creggan, Londonderry after shots were fired and petrol bombs were thrown at police. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Petrol bombs are thrown at police in Creggan, Londonderry. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A burning car in Creggan, Londonderry after petrol bombs were thrown at police. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Petrol bombs are thrown at police in Creggan, Londonderry. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
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In a statement the New IRA militant Irish nationalist group apologised for the killing of McKee - its first acknowledgement that one of its members was involved, the Irish News newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The organisation, which opposes Northern Ireland's 1998 peace deal, described McKee's death as tragic and offered "full and sincere apologies" to her partner, family and friends in a statement that the Irish News said it received on Monday night.

The 29-year-old reporter was shot dead in Londonderry on Thursday as she watched Irish nationalist youths attack police following a raid. Police said McKee was hit when a gunman opened fire in the direction of officers.

The group said it had sent volunteers to the area after the raid. "We have instructed our volunteers to take the utmost care in future when engaging with the enemy, and put in place measures to help ensure this," read the New IRA statement.

The group is one of a number of small organisations who remain active and oppose the 1998 deal, which largely ended three decades of violence in the region. It is far smaller than the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which disarmed after the peace deal.

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