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Water cannon used against Belfast rioters as petrol bombs thrown at police

The Orange Order has called for calm on the city’s streets.
Jul 14th 2013, 9:44 AM 10,605 90

VIOLENCE AND RIOTS continued in Belfast for a second night with a number of arrests and injuries being reported by the PSNI.

Missiles, including petrol bombs, were thrown at police lines as they attempted to hold peace in the north and east of the city. Seven officers were injured but remained on duty.

Water cannon were deployed and AEPs (a type of projectile that replaced plastic bullets) fired by officers as they dealt with “isolated serious disorder” in the Woodvale area.

According to a statement issued this morning, officers were also attacked with fireworks, masonry, laser pens and “a whole range of weapons and missiles”.

One member of the PSNI was struck by a petrol bomb but was not injured. He remained on duty after being examined by medical personnel.

A petrol bomb hits riot police after it was thrown by loyalist rioters in the Woodvale area of north Belfast. (Image: Peter Morrison/AP/Press Association Images)

A total of 11 people were arrested last night and in the early hours of this morning, including a 40-year-old man who was questioned on suspicion of breach of the peace following a protest in Castlereagh Street in the east of the city. A 17-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl were also detained on suspicion of riotous behaviour in separate incidents over the weekend.

The troubles have been described as both “sporadic” and “isolated” by the PSNI. They began shortly after 8.30pm and continued for several hours in places. Calm was restored at about 1.30am.

Police also responded to isolated incidents in the Rosapenna Street following reports that a number of petrol bombs had been thrown and in North Queen Street following calls that youths had attempted to block the road with burning pallets.

On Friday, 400 extra police officers were sent to Northern Ireland from Britain to ensure safe operations over the weekend during the traditional 12 July commemorations, the climax of marching season.

Friday saw the worst of the violence with 32 officers injured during riots.

The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland re-issued an appeal for calm on the streets of Belfast last night.

“Violence is not only counterproductive but also just plain wrong,” it said. “We call on everyone who has the interests of the Institution at heart, despite the disastrous Parades Commission ruling, to immediately desist.”

Riot police deploy a water cannon after being attacked by loyalist protesters in north Belfast. (Image: AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Chief Constable Matt Baggott described the scenes of 12 July as “shameful and disgraceful”, asking the leadership in the Order to reflect upon whether they provided the responsible leadership asked for and required.

“Some of their language was emotive, having called thousands of people to protest, they had no plan and no control, and rather than being responsible, I think the word for that is reckless.”

Loyalist rioters attack police in the Woodvale area of North Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Related: Police knocked unconscious by rioters ‘wielding swords and missiles’ in Belfast

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Sinead O'Carroll

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