Belfast Telegraph

Revealed - the horrific tally from loyalist riots

By Deborah McAleese newsdesk@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

THE FULL horror of loyalist violence during three nights of rioting in Northern Ireland was revealed by the PSNI last night.

THE FULL horror of loyalist violence during three nights of rioting in Northern Ireland was revealed by the PSNI last night.

During some of the worst disturbances the province has seen in years 115 shots were fired at police and 146 blast bombs thrown.

The viciousness of the attacks against police were further highlighted by the revelation that some of the blast bombs were made from fireworks covered with nails and other shrapnel.

Thugs intent on bringing terror to the streets of Ulster hijacked 116 vehicles to torch them and block roads.

Statistics released by the PSNI last night also showed that 81 police officers were injured during the rioting.

Police were forced to fire six live rounds at crowds, along with 216 plastic baton rounds.

Troops were also forced to fire live rounds and plastic baton rounds, although no exact figures had been released by the military.

Earlier this summer plastic baton rounds were used for the first time in Northern Ireland in almost three years. However the recent disturbances saw the greatest number of the new sponge-tipped batons discharged.

The largest number of shots fired at police (96) was in the west of the city, where six live rounds were fired by officers.

The majority of officers were injured in west (31) and north (23) Belfast.

Thugs in north Belfast threw the greatest number of petrol bombs (120) and the largest number of vehicles were hijacked in that area (57).

Trouble was not just confined to Belfast with disturbances spreading to Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus, Lisburn, Larne, north Down and Ards.

In north Down 17 vehicles were hijacked, 15 in Newtownabbey, eight in Carrickfergus, two in Lisburn, two in Ards and one in Larne.

The statistics do not include trouble in rural parts of the province where violence also broke out in areas such as Ballymena.

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