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Saturday 20 January 2018

Seven police officers injured after Belfast riots

Riot police deploy a water cannon after being attacked by loyalist protesters in north Belfast
Riot police deploy a water cannon after being attacked by loyalist protesters in north Belfast
A petrol bomb hits riot police after it was thrown by loyalist rioters in the Woodvale area of north Belfast
A petrol bomb hits riot police after being thrown by loyalist rioters in north Belfast
Loyalists clash with police in the Woodvale Road area of North Belfast, on the second night of violence after an Orange Parade was blocked from marching past the Nationalist Ardoyne area in Belfast, July 13, 2013
Loyalists clash with police in the Woodvale Road area of North Belfast, on the second night of violence after an Orange Parade was blocked from marching past the Nationalist Ardoyne area in Belfast, July 13, 2013

David Young

Seven police officers were injured in a second successive night of loyalist rioting in Belfast.

Petrol bombs, bricks, bottles and other missiles were thrown at officers in the same Woodvale area in the north of the city that witnessed serious disorder on Friday night.

 

Police responded by firing ten baton rounds and deploying water canon.

 

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) described the unrest as "isolated serious disorder".

 

"Officers were attacked by petrol bombs, fireworks, masonry, laser pens, and by a whole range of weapons and missiles," said a PSNI spokeswoman.

 

None of the officers were seriously injured and all remained on duty.

 

While Friday's violence spread from the Woodvale Road to other parts of Belfast, in particular the Newtownards Road area in the east, last night's trouble was confined to the north of the city.

 

It began around 8.30pm with order restored around 1.30am.

 

The latest police casualties come after 32 officers were injured on Friday and MP for North Belfast Nigel Dodds was taken to hospital in the clashes in Woodvale after being struck by a brick. He was discharged on Saturday morning.

 

More than 30 arrests have been made since Friday though police expect to make many more after analysing video footage of the disorder.

 

Trouble first flared on Friday as police attempted to enforce a decision banning a controversial Orange Order parade from passing the republican Ardoyne area on the Crumlin Road in north Belfast.

 

Four hundred extra police officers from Great Britain were deployed to Northern Ireland yesterday.

 

More than 600 mutual aid officers from England, Scotland and Wales were already in the region supporting the PSNI operation as tensions surrounding the traditional Twelfth of July commemorations spiralled into disorder.

 

The Orange Order had originally called for protests against the determination of the Parades Commission adjudication body but, in the wake of Friday's violence, senior Orangemen called for protest action to be suspended.

 

PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott has condemned those responsible for the trouble and also criticised those within the Orange Order leadership who called for protests.

Press Association

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