Eleven people arrested in connection with attempted murder of DCI John Caldwell

John Caldwell (David Young/PA)

Garrett Hargan

Eleven people have been arrested in relation to the attempted murder of senior PSNI detective John Caldwell.

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

They have been taken to the Serious Crime Suite in Musgrave where they are being questioned by detectives.

DCI Caldwell suffered life-changing injuries in the attack in Omagh earlier this year.

He was shot multiple times as he was putting footballs into his car after coaching young people at football at a local sports centre.

The attack on February 22 happened in front of his young son.

Police believe the New IRA may have collaborated with an organised crime gang to carry out the attack.

Mr Caldwell was discharged from hospital in April.

The high-profile detective had been recovering in hospital in Derry – where British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited his bedside - before he was discharged.

This week he met King Charles and Queen Camilla on their two-day visit to Northern Ireland.

Mr Caldwell’s attendance at the royal event in Hillsborough was his first public appearance since he was shot.

Last week police issued a new appeal for information about two blue Ford Fiesta cars they believe were used during the attempted murder.

Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan said last Thursday that Mr Caldwell is "making a good recovery but it is going to be a long road," adding: "We are lucky John didn't die."

He said the investigation into the "sickening" attempted murder has included 40 searches, the seizure of 400,000 hours of CCTV footage, speaking to 342 witnesses and making 15 arrests.

"Almost three months on from this horrific attack, I would take the opportunity to reiterate our appeal to the public for any information they may have which could assist us in bringing those responsible to justice.

"No piece of information is too small. We remain particularly keen to establish further details about the two blue Ford Fiesta vehicles which we believe were used in the attempted murder."