It was another night of ‘madness and mayhem’ in Belfast, in the words of one local politician in Northern Ireland. During a third night of rioting by Irish nationalists, reports say shots were fired at police in the Ardoyne area of the city.
Police used water cannon and rubber bullets to quell the rioters, who threw bottles, stones and petrol bombs.
Some officers reportedly suffered minor injuries. During the previous nights’ troubles more than 80 police officers were hurt. A policewoman was seriously injured when she was hit by a lump of concrete, but her life is not thought to be in danger.
Northern Ireland’s authorities have hinted that they think the violence is being orchestrated.
The trouble began as a protest by local Catholics against traditional “orange” parades. Each year Protestants celebrate their ancestors’ victory at a battle in 1690 by marching through Catholic areas.
Northern Ireland saw thirty years of violence between Protestants loyal to Britain and Catholic separatists before a peace accord was signed in 1998.