POLICE CAME UNDER attack in East Belfast last night from crowds wielding petrol bombs and stones.
They came under fire as crowds engaged in disorder in the Lower Newtownards Road yesterday evening. PSNI officers came under attack from crowds throwing petrol bombs and stones as they responded to reports of petrol bombs being thrown from Pitt Park towards St Matthew’s Church in Bryson Street.
Water cannon was used due to the extent of the disorder, police said. There was then an exchange of stones and other missiles between two factions until police restored order. A 17-year-old male youth was arrested.
Injuries and arrests
One officer is reported to have been injured. Police resources remained at the scene for some time due to ongoing disorder, with the objective of maintaining public safety, said the PSNI.
Police are also investigating an incident on the Newtownards Road at around 7.25pm last night, when a bus was attacked by stone throwers. It is believed that the driver was taken to hospital to be treated for cuts to his face.
Two men, aged 26 and 70, were arrested at a separate incident related to disorder following a street protest at Great Victoria Street earlier this evening.
A 16-year-old male youth was arrested in the Larne Road Link area of Ballymena following a protest in the area yesterday evening.
The Irish News reports that special needs children attending a meeting in a parochial hall with adults were left “terrified” when the area they were in became a location for violence.
St Matthew’s Church and Strand Walk, which are located in the nationalist Short Strand area, had petrol bombs and bricks thrown at them, it said. Translink bus services were suspended to the east of Belfast last night, said the paper.