BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Police reinforcements sent to Northern Ireland as UK loyalists riot for second night

Now Reading:

Police reinforcements sent to Northern Ireland as UK loyalists riot for second night

Text size Aa Aa

Hundreds of extra police have been sent from the British mainland to Northern Ireland after a second night of rioting by UK loyalists in Belfast. They are angry at a restriction to their annual Orange Day parades amid heightened sectarian tension.

More than 30 people have been arrested over two days of trouble.

On Saturday night one police officer was briefly engulfed in flames after being hit by a petrol bomb, but colleagues quickly put out the fire and he was not badly hurt.

The violence was said to be less serious than on Friday when a unionist politician was knocked unconscious and more than 30 police officers were injured.

Police again came under attack from young loyalists who threw stones, bottles and fireworks. Another seven officers were injured.

The violence came even though the Protestant Orange Order suspended its protests against a decision banning it from marching along a stretch of road dividing rival communities in north Belfast.

On Saturday the head of Northern Ireland’s police force condemned the Orange Order’s original call for protests as “reckless”.

Despite a 15-year-old peace deal much of Belfast remains divided along religious and nationalist lines.