- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 20, 2019

Police in Northern Ireland blamed terrorists Saturday for the murder of journalist Lyra McKee and pleaded for the public’s help in prosecuting those responsible.

Authorities announced the arrest of two men in connection with the killing of McKee, 29, and asked during a press conference for witnesses to share any cellphone footage relevant to their case.

“It is really important that those who killed Lyra in this cowardly attack should never be allowed to do this again,” said Jason Murphy, a detective for law enforcement in the city of Derry, also known as Londonderry.

McKee was fatally shot Thursday evening in Derry while covering riots that police have blamed on the New IRA dissident group.

Two men, aged 18 and 19, have been detained under anti-terrorism legislation and were being questioned in Belfast, the Police Service of Northern Ireland announced earlier Saturday.

During a press conference held in Derry afterward, Mr. Murphy said McKee was “murdered by terrorists” who fired “indiscriminately” in a crowded residential area.

“I know that a large number of people were in the area,” said Mr. Murphy. “Many of these people were clearly using mobile phones to record footage of the disorder and may have captured vital footage on their mobile phones. I would ask those individuals to please come and speak to my detectives with regards to the events of Thursday night and to allow us to examine the video footage on their mobile phones.”

Mr. Murphy said witnesses opposed to providing their cellphone to police may upload footage to the agency’s website.

“I want to reassure you that we will work with you sensitively,” the detective added. “There is a real sense that what happened to Lyra might be a sea change, and I want people to have the confidence to come forward and help us.”

McKee had written articles previously published in outlets including the Belfast Telegraph and BuzzFeed News, and in 2016 she was included on a Forbes “30 under 30” list. Irish media reported days before her death that McKee had recently signed a deal to release two books in the coming years through Faber and Faber, a British publishing house.

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