Northern Ireland

NI police officer hurt in lorry hit-and-run discharged from hospital

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Media captionThe officer was hit on an isolated road close to the border

A police officer who was injured in a hit-and-run incident in County Armagh has been discharged from hospital.

Police said a lorry was driven at speed directly at the officer and he was pinned between it and a police vehicle. The lorry left the scene.

It happened in Cullyhanna as he was investigating the theft of a cash machine about 13 miles away near Newry.

Police are treating the incident as attempted murder.

Injuries

The officer was struck after leaving his vehicle to speak to the driver of "a suspicious lorry transporting a car" on Mullaghduff Road, police said.

Supt Simon Walls said the officer had been treated for a fractured ankle, injuries to his back and a wound to his head.

Image caption The officer was investigating the theft of an ATM when a lorry was driven at him

He said police believed the lorry involved in the incident had been stolen a short time earlier in Cullyhanna.

A lorry matching its description was found burnt out across the border at Mullyash Mountain in County Monaghan, about five miles away.

Appealing for information about its movements, Supt Walls said: "The lorry is described as a low loader with a white cab, a yellow bumper, a red low loader body and carrying a white or silver vehicle."

Image caption The officer was struck by the lorry in Cullyhanna after an earlier robbery at an ATM on the Camlough Road near Newry

Policing Board chair Anne Connolly said: "This officer was simply doing his job but it shows the dangers our officers can face in serving the community."

Sinn Féin assembly member Megan Fearon said: "This was a horrendous attack and there can be no justification for it."

Democratic Unionist Party assembly member William Irwin said: "If the person responsible for this incident is linked to the theft then it underlines the extremely dangerous nature of those involved in organised theft of cash machines."

Ulster Unionist councillor David Taylor said: "It is disgusting that a man serving the whole community should be mown down in the line of duty."

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption A cash machine had been ripped from the wall of a filling station during a robbery near Newry

Earlier on Friday, a digger was used to rip a cash machine from the wall of a filling station on the Camlough Road, near Newry, County Down, at about 03:30 GMT.

Later that day, a man in his 20s was arrested by police in the Republic of Ireland, at Drumass, Inniskeen, in County Monaghan.

He appeared at Monaghan District Court on Saturday, charged with causing £12,000 worth of criminal damage to a cash machine and possession of stolen property. He was remanded in custody.

Police on both sides of the border are continuing to search for a number of men who fled following the robbery.

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