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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 20 January, 2019
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In pictures: violence erupts during Belfast parades

Clashes erupted as band breached Parades Commission determination against it marching past a Catholic Church.

Image: AP Photo/Peter Morrison/PA

SEVEN PSNI OFFICERS have been injured in violent clashes during controversial parades in Belfast today.

Clashes erupted between police, loyalists and republicans after a loyalist band breached a Parades Commission ruling barring them from marching past a Catholic Church on Donegall Street.

One of the officers was taken to hospital for treatment, but the injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Other bands are believed to have breached the Parades Commission ruling restricting them to pay a single drum beat during their march of that section of the parade route.

PSNI officers and riot police came under attack as they separated protesters from the parade while the bands marched by the church.

In pictures: violence erupts during Belfast parades
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  • Northern Ireland Parade

    A loyalist band plays music outside St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison/PA)
  • Northern Ireland Parade

    A loyalist band plays music outside St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison/PA)
  • Northern Ireland Parade

    Riot police stand guard outside St Patrick's. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison/PA)
  • Northern Ireland Parade

    A police officer tries to stop fighting between loyalist and Nationalist groups outside St Patrick's. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison/PA)
  • Northern Ireland Parade

    A police officer attempts to stop a loyalist band from playing music outside St Patrick's. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison/PA)
  • Northern Ireland Parade

    Nationalist protesters react to a loyalist parade outside St Patrick's today. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison/PA)
  • Northern Ireland Parade

    A female police officer is knocked to the ground as she attempted to stop fighting rival groups outside St Patrick's. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison/PA)
  • Northern Ireland Parade

    Police officers attempt to stop fighting outside St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison/PA)
  • Northern Ireland Parade

    A police officer, center background, tries to stop the fighting. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison/PA)

“It is our assessment that there have been breaches of the Parades Commission determination and I assure everyone that we will be working to bring those believed to have breached it before the courts,” Assistant Chief Constable Dave Jones said. “We have gathered the evidence required to do so.”

Jones, who is in charge of the policing operation, said that today’s parades “provides challenges to policing” and that the PSNI is “fully aware of the impact our actions can have on communities”.

“I am appealing for calm as the day progresses and for all those with influence to use it to ensure a peaceful end to today,” he added.

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