Those who targeted a police station in the North tried to lure officers into a secondary attack, the area commander said today.
Dissident republicans are suspected after a fireball was seen heading towards Brownlow barracks, Craigavon, Co Armagh, last night. There was no damage or injuries and it did not hit the station.
Police also fired three baton rounds as they struggled with rioters nearby who attacked them with metal bars and large pieces of flagstone.
Chief Inspector Jason Murphy said: “From time to time we face trying circumstances. it is very clear that yesterday’s events were locally orchestrated and were an attempt to lure my officers into a secondary attack.
“They are disrupting the lives of other people.”
Police have not been able to identify what exactly was fired near Brownlow station. Officers manning a cordon nearby following an earlier hoax security alert involving a gas canister saw the fireball.
Mr Murphy said during separate violence in the Drumbeg estate rioters used large pieces of masonry and metal bars to try to break into his officers’ Land Rovers to attack them.
“This was an attempt to kill or seriously injure our officers,” he said.
“I am satisfied that everything that could have been done before resorting to the use of AEP’s (Attenuating Energy Projectiles) was done.”
Two police vehicles were damaged during the trouble last night. Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson has been informed.
Pc Stephen Carroll was shot dead by the Continuity IRA in Craigavon last March.