Belfast Telegraph

Police hurt in parade violence

Four police officers sustained minor injuries after trouble flared during a loyal order parade in Northern Ireland.

Missiles were launched at them as they struggled to restore calm during the Tour of the North in north Belfast on Friday night. They sustained bruising and one officer suffered a broken tooth.

A police spokesman said: "The police response was balanced and proportionate. Balancing the rights of the interested parties is never easy. A parade like this is looked upon from many viewpoints, including those of local residents, marchers and protesters.

"The main priority of police is to protect communities."

The marchers set off from the Orange Hall at Clifton Street at around 7.30pm on Friday, amid significant police presence.

When they arrived at Woodvale Parade, procession leaders handed over a letter of protest to police over the Parades Commission's decision not to let two feeder parades pass the Ardoyne shop fronts on the edge of a mainly nationalist area.

Trouble erupted soon after at the top of Twaddell Avenue, with protesters throwing missiles at police and officers in riot gear moving in.

The Tour of the North is the first contentious parade of the marching season.

The interface area of Ardoyne has been the scene of violent clashes in previous years

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