Saturday 24 August 2019

Stand-off: PSNI attacked while trying to remove bonfire

The bonfire, in the New Lodge area, was intended to be lit to mark the anniversary of the introduction of internment in 1971
The bonfire, in the New Lodge area, was intended to be lit to mark the anniversary of the introduction of internment in 1971

Bricks and bottles were thrown as police moved in to assist in the removal of a bonfire in north Belfast last night.

The bonfire, in the New Lodge area, was intended to be lit to mark the anniversary of the introduction of internment in 1971.

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Police pulled out of the area following a stand-off with republican youths.

In a statement, a PSNI spokesman said officers were in attendance at Queens Parade in the New Lodge area of North Belfast to support contractors sent in by the landowner to remove a bonfire from the road.

Scores of PSNI officers departed the estate at speed amid a hail of missiles fired by the young people.

The estate was later barricaded using metal fencing while teenagers held their hands up in triumph from atop the anti-internment pyre.

The New Lodge is a mainly nationalist area dominated by decades-old public housing blocks. The bonfire is made of wooden pallets and has an tricolour on top.

Irish Independent

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