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Youths clash in 'recreational rioting'

There was renewed sectarian strife in east Belfast last night as loyalist and nationalist youths clashed.

Police urged people, particularly motorists, to stay away from the Templemore Avenue and Albertbridge Road areas.

They said they and community representatives were on the ground trying to calm the situation.

It was the latest example of what a Sinn Fein politician called "recreational rioting", involving young people from both sides of the divide.

A few hours earlier, parents were urged by police to make sure they knew where their children were and what they were up to after a 16-year-old boy was charged following overnight interface trouble.

Children as young as 10 - from both sides of the community - have been involved in the recreational rioting in recent weeks, a local politician claimed.

The teenager was arrested in the early hours of the morning and charged with a public order offence and is due to appear at Belfast Magistrates' Court on December 2.

Police said damage was caused to a number of houses and at least one vehicle when stones and other missiles were thrown.

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police in east Belfast are appealing for parents to make sure they know the whereabouts of their children, and what they are doing, following several incidents in the Bryson Street and Lower Newtownards Road on Monday evening."

Sinn Fein's Niall O Donnghaile condemned those from both sides of the community who were responsible.

He said: "Once again we see vulnerable pensioners and family homes attacked in this area. These attacks come after almost four weeks of intermittent so-called 'recreational rioting' involving young children, some under 10 years of age, from both communities."

He said it now seemed the attacks were growing in frequency and degree and urged unionist politicians to "get their act together" and make clear to those involved in their community that attacks must stop.

Belfast Telegraph

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