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Northern Ireland

Two men charged with rioting following last night's violence in Belfast

One of the men was also charged with possession of a petrol bomb.

TWO MEN HAVE been charged with rioting in connection with last night’s disorder in west Belfast.

Detectives investigating the violence in the Lanark Way area of Belfast yesterday have charged a 24-year-old man and a 32-year-old man with riot.

The 32-year-old was also charged with possession of a petrol bomb in suspicious circumstances.

The men are due to appear before Belfast Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.

The PSNI said today that it does not believe that loyalist paramilitary leadership are orchestrating the unrest on the streets of Northern Ireland.

It follows a statement from the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC), an umbrella group representing the UVF, UDA and Red Hand Commando, that none of its groups were involved in rioting “either directly or indirectly”.

The violence was at a lower level last night than it had been on Wednesday, but officers came under attack with petrol bombs, fireworks and stones.

A water cannon was used by police in Northern Ireland for the first time in six years to quell crowds gathered on a nationalist section of the Springfield Road.

A human chain of community workers was formed to prevent rioters reaching the gates at the peace wall at Lanark Way, the scene of Wednesday night’s tensions. In total, 74 police officers have been injured in more than a week of violence.

With reporting by Press Association

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