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Dublin: 10°C Thursday 26 May 2022

Riots break out in east Belfast

At least five people reported injured after masked men entered the Short Strand area.

Image: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

MASKED MEN PAINT-BOMBED homes during intense rioting in east Belfast last night, causing damage to homes and injuring residents of the Short Strand area.

According to today’s The Irish News, at least five people were believed to have been injured in the sectarian violence, during which men dressed in black wielding baseball bats were believed to have entered a residential area.

Witnesses described the men and said they walked down Castlereagh Street, on the loyalist side of the area, into Short Strand.

After homes were attacked with paint, fireworks and bricks, a riot broke out which spilled into the Bryson Street area.

One woman told The Irish News that the violence was “definitely orchestrated”.

Petrol bombs were thrown during the incident.

BBC News reports that Lord Mayor of Belfast Niall O Donnghaile, who is also a Sinn Fein councillor for the area, “claims it was an orchestrated attack by loyalists”.

He told the station he witnessed “one young man being taken away in an ambulance with a serious head injury as a result of some of the missiles that were coming over”.

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Meanwhile, Ulster Unionist MLA Michael Copeland said that there was “hand-to-hand” fighting involving “several hundred people”.

He said that he understood the violence came after homes on the Newtownards Road were attacked from Strand Walk and the grounds of St Matthew’s church in previous nights.

He said that the main aim was to get the violence stopped.

Read more in the print edition of today’s The Irish News>

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