By Tim Stickings For Mailonline
Published: 00:51 BST, 23 April 2019 | Updated: 01:11 BST, 23 April 2019
The New IRA has admitted responsibility for the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Londonderry.
The republican splinter group offered 'full and sincere apologies' to her family and friends in a statement to The Irish News.
A gunman aiming to kill police hit the talented 29-year-old in the head after firing indiscriminately during disturbances in the Creggan estate.
Her killing has been widely condemned across the political spectrum and sparked fears of a return to sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.
The New IRA has admitted responsibility for the murder of journalist Lyra McKee (pictured) in Londonderry during riots last week
Using a recognised code word, the New IRA said: 'On Thursday night following an incursion on the Creggan by heavily armed British crown forces which provoked rioting, the IRA deployed our volunteers to engage.
'We have instructed our volunteers to take the utmost care in future when engaging the enemy, and put in place measures to help ensure this.
'In the course of attacking the enemy Lyra McKee was tragically killed while standing beside enemy forces.
'The IRA offer our full and sincere apologies to the partner, family and friends of Lyra McKee for her death.'
The New IRA is