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John Caldwell: 11 arrested over attempted murder of senior Northern Ireland police detective as CCTV images released

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Eleven people have been arrested by police investigating the attempted murder of a senior detective in Northern Ireland, as the force released new images of vehicles they believe were involved.

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell was shot several times at a sports complex in Omagh, Co Tyrone, on 22 February, where he had been coaching a youth football team.

He was putting balls in a car when he was attacked in front of his young son and other children, who were seen running for cover.

Detectives have said they suspect the dissident republican New IRA carried out the shooting.

Nine men and two women, aged between 21 and 72, were arrested on Friday morning under the Terrorism Act in Omagh and Coalisland in Co Tyrone.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said it had carried out a "significant search and arrest operation" and the suspects have been taken to its serious crime suite at Musgrave police station in Belfast for questioning.

At a news conference in Belfast, PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan said a total of 28 arrests had been made to date in the investigation, comprising 21 individuals.

He said seven of the eleven people detained on Friday had been previously arrested as part of the probe into Mr Caldwell's attempted murder.

CCTV and photos of vehicles released

Image: A black Mercedes Benz C-Class - similar to the one police believe was used

The PSNI released new CCTV and photos of several vehicles - a Mercedes C-Class and two Ford Fiestas - used by the gunmen and their accomplices on the night of the shooting, and in the lead-up to it.

Officers believe the black Mercedes Benz C-Class was used as an operational vehicle by the New IRA both before and immediately after the attack to transport the gunmen and others away from the site of a burned-out Ford Fiesta, referred to as Fiesta One.

Mr Corrigan appealed for information about who was in the Mercedes, where it was before the shooting and where it went afterwards.

He said it travelled in a convoy with the two blue Ford Fiestas on Drumnakilly Road headed towards Omagh at 5.43pm on the evening of the shooting.

Image: A CCTV image of Ford Fiesta One

A new photograph of Fiesta One shows it leaving Barrack Street in Coalisland at 4.55pm on the afternoon of the shooting and travelling to Omagh. It had the registration number MGZ 6242 and was fitted with false plates, FRZ 8414, prior to the attack.

Police say the vehicle left the sports complex and turned left onto Killyclogher Road immediately after the shooting.

It then travelled past Glendale service station to Racolpa Road, where it was abandoned and set on fire. Police believe it travelled into Coalisland around 10pm on the previous night, 21 February.

Image: A CCTV image of Ford Fiesta Two

The new image of Fiesta Two, registration number RLZ 9805, with a missing alloy hubcap shows it at 2pm at Tamnamore Park and Ride on the day of the shooting.

Police appealed for information on where it travelled to from there before being set alight the following day, 23 February.

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February: Hundreds of people in Omagh held a protest over the attack

Mr Caldwell, who suffered "life-changing" injuries in the attack, was released from hospital in April.

Earlier this week, he attended a garden party in Co Down with the King and Queen in his first public appearance since the attack.

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