Dissident Group Accepts Blame For Irish Journalist's Death

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Dissident Group Accepts Blame For Irish Journalist's Death
The New IRA said Lyra McKee was "tragically killed while standing beside enemy forces" and blamed police for "provoking" the crowd.
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The New Irish Republican Army admitted responsibility for the death of journalist Lyra McKee in Northern Ireland.

The New IRA said, "In the course of attacking the enemy Lyra McKee was tragically killed while standing beside enemy forces," according to a statement reported by the Irish News.

McKee, a 29 year-old investigative journalist, was shot last week while standing next to a police vehicle during a riot in Londonderry. 

In the statement, the New IRA blamed police for "provoking" the crowd. The group said it deployed its volunteers after an "incursion" by "heavily armed British crown forces." The group said it told its volunteers to "take the utmost care in future when engaging the enemy."  

Irish Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader Colum Eastwood called the New IRA statement "utterly sickening and devoid of any humanity," adding, "They must recognize the glaringly obvious fact they are not wanted by the people of the north. It is time to disband."

The New IRA has been described as a militant republican group that broke off from the Provisional Irish Republican Army in 2012. Its members reject the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and believe Ireland should not be under British rule.

The New IRA has been blamed for a number of attacks, including a car bombing in January.

On Tuesday, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said it arrested a woman under the terrorism act in connection with McKee's death.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN