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New clashes break out in Belfast

Police have fired baton rounds at rioters as fresh trouble erupted in Belfast.

Petrol bombs, bricks, bottles and fireworks were hurled at officers during the stand-off in Ardoyne in north Belfast. A car was hijacked and set alight, while police deployed water cannon. Some officers were briefly set alight after being struck by a petrol bomb.

The trouble followed a nationalist protest march held to coincide with an Orange Order parade through the sectarian interface following the Twelfth commemorations.

Ardoyne has been the scene of serious trouble in the past between police and nationalists following similar loyal order parades. It is a working-class residential area of mainly terraced housing.

Three baton rounds were discharged by officers. Fireworks were also used by rioters, and police remain in the area and are working to restore calm.

The Twelfth of July celebrations by Orangemen involved tens of thousands of members of the loyal orders walking the streets to commemorate the 1690 Battle of the Boyne victory of a Protestant over a Catholic monarch.

North Belfast Democratic Unionist MP Nigel Dodds condemned the rioters. "These people have been intent on attacking the police and wreaking havoc in their own community. Such violence is senseless and has clearly nothing to do with protesting against a parade but is just futile rioting," he said.

Meanwhile, trouble later spread to Armagh City with more public disorder. A second car was set alight in Ardoyne.

A local photographer was hit by a baton round in Ardoyne. And police confirmed that several officers had been injured and vehicles hijacked. Lasers have been used against police.

Youths burned tyres and hijacked a car and set it alight in Armagh City. There were also disturbances in Newry, Co Down, when youths threw stones and set tyres on fire.


From Belfast Telegraph