Belfast Telegraph

Police attacked again in third night of loyalist riots in Belfast

By Claire Cromie

Police came under attack again on Sunday night as loyalists staged a third consecutive night of protests and public disorder.

Officers entered an alleyway in the Woodvale Road area of North Belfast to remove potential missiles when they were attacked with bricks and six petrol bombs.

Two plastic bullets were fired by police and one officer was injured.

Riot police were deployed at sectarian interfaces around Belfast in anticipation of disorder.

The Shore Road in north Belfast was closed at its junction with Mount Vernon due to a barricade in the road.

At least one car was burnt out on O'Neill Road in Newtownabbey amid reports of hijackings. Five males aged between 15 and 25 have been arrested on suspicion of riotous behaviour.

Meanwhile crowds gathered at Castlereagh Street in east Belfast and at The Square in Ballyclare.

Plans for protests were circulating on social media sites on Sunday, as the Orange Order and First Minister Peter Robinson appealed for calm.

Justice Minister David Ford warned rioters they could appear before the courts within hours of violence on the streets, as Belfast Magistrates' Court opened for a special Sunday sitting.

Ten people were charged with various public order offences following Friday and Saturday's violence in north and east Belfast.

Eight of those were remanded in custody, while one person pleaded guilty and another was released on court bail.

Four hundred extra police officers from Britain were deployed to Northern Ireland on Saturday.

More than 600 mutual aid officers from England, Scotland and Wales were already in the region supporting the PSNI operation as tensions surrounding the traditional Twelfth of July commemorations spiralled into disorder.

The Orange Order had originally called for protests against the determination of the Parades Commission adjudication body but, in the wake of Friday's violence, senior Orangemen called for protest action to be suspended.

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