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Concerns over reasons for Belfast rioting

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Concerns over reasons for Belfast rioting
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It was hoped the days of violent confrontation in Belfast were over – but it seems not.

Catholic youths have clashed with police for several nights this week. The unrest coincides with the climax of the Protestant marching season on July 12.

At least 22 police officers have been injured, a bus was hi-jacked, cars have been set on fire and there have been direct confrontations.

“It was a small group of 30 or 40 people in these areas who torture the area during the year anyway and have used the 12th (of July) as an excuse,” said one local.

Many say this is just wanton violence. But for others, there is a more serious subtext.

“There are organised groups linked to the IRA within Ardoyne who are clearly orchestrating and organising these riots and it looks as if these groups are out of control,” another man told journalists.

Some say the latest disturbances expose the rift between mainstream nationalists and dissident Republicans who oppose the power-sharing settlement in the province.

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