Dissident republicans have been blamed for murdering two men in Northern Ireland in shootings linked to criminal disputes.
Barry McCrory, 36, was gunned down in front of his partner in a flat in Londonderry city centre this morning, less than 24 hours after the body of father-of-four Kevin Kearney was found dumped in a lake in north Belfast. The 46-year-old had also been shot.
Both victims were known to police for previous offending.
While detectives have yet to officially attribute blame, Stormont's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has accused violent republican extremists of committing both crimes.
One dissident group, which styles itself as the "IRA", has claimed responsibility for shooting Mr Kearney as he walked his dogs in Belfast's Alexandra Park.
Police are so far treating the incidents as two separate murder investigations, with early indications that the shootings are linked to localised criminality in the respective cities.
Mr McGuinness said: "Over the past 24 hours two men have been murdered in Belfast and Derry. I condemn these murders without equivocation.
"Those responsible claim to be dissident republicans. They are not republicans of any shade. They are entirely motivated by criminal intent."
Mr McCrory was shot around 11am in a first-floor apartment, above business premises in Shipquay Street, close to the Diamond area of Derry
His partner was not injured but was taken to hospital for treatment for shock.
Derry is the current UK City of Culture and, even though it is a major base for dissident republicans, it has been largely free of any major terrorist incidents since January.
Mr Kearney, from Dunmore Avenue in north Belfast, went missing on Tuesday morning after failing to return home after walking his two dogs.
His body was found in the nearby lake at 3.30pm yesterday.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland officer leading the investigation Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway described his murder as a "cold-blooded and callous".
"On Tuesday morning Mr Kearney followed his usual weekday routine by taking his daughter to school, then returning home and at approximately 9am took his two dogs for a walk in Alexandra Park," he said.
"Later on the Tuesday the dogs returned back home to the Dunmore area however Kevin was missing and his family reported this to police on Tuesday evening."
Mr Galloway said he believed Mr Kearney, who was wearing dark clothing with bright blue trainers, was shot at around 9.15am on Tuesday.
A silver Peugeot 406 car police believe may be linked to the shooting was found burned out at Donore Court in the New Lodge area of north Belfast around 9.30am on Tuesday.
Stormont's First Minister Peter Robinson has also condemned the killings.
"These murders have sent shockwaves across the community in North Belfast and Londonderry," he said.
"They are a grim reminder of the kind of violence which the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland want to see consigned to the past.
"The rule of law is absolutely paramount and there can be no justification for anyone taking justice into their own hands. Anyone with information about these shootings must bring it to the police and I would hope that those responsible can be swiftly brought to justice."