Belfast Telegraph

Police pelted with petrol bombs in republican area of Lurgan

Two teenagers arrested for riotous behaviour and criminal damage

Police have been attacked with petrol bombs in sporadic trouble in a republican area of Northern Ireland.

Officers also had to draw batons in angry confrontations with a crowd made up of mainly youths in the Kilwilkie estate in Lurgan, Co Armagh on Monday.

Tensions in the area have been running high as republicans seek to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising.

Elsewhere in Lurgan, there had been concerns of trouble around an Easter Monday parade by the Apprentice Boys of Derry protestant loyal order, but that event passed off without incident.

In Kilwilkie a number of petrol bombs were thrown at police and a vehicle was set on fire.

The van was hijacked and set a blaze at the Lake Street railway junction in the early hours. Burning bins were placed at the rail line later in the day.

Three petrol bombs were thrown at officers who attended the hijacking and there were reports of other petrol bombs being hurled later on Monday.

The disorder led to closures of the railway line, impacting the cross-border Enterprise service.

Ulster Unionist councillor Colin McCusker condemned those behind the trouble.

"Once again Lurgan's name has been dragged through the mud by republican thugs," he said.

"In the face of petrol bombs the PSNI have shown restraint."

On Saturday, masked men marched through Kilwilkie, a staunchly republican neighbourhood, to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.

Police are investigating the incident as the parade was staged without the necessary permission.

Lurgan Police said two officers had been injured in the disturbances. Their injuries are not serious. Two 15-year-old youths were arrested on suspicion of a range of offences including riotous behaviour and criminal damage.

PSNI district commander David Moore said: "I would appeal to parents and those within the local community to exert their influence to bring this senseless behaviour to an end."

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