Second night of loyalist violence in Belfast
The violence in Belfast continued for a second night running as riot police were attacked by loyalists in a protest over a blocked march during which 32 officers, 8 rioters and an MP for North Belfast, Nigel Dodds, have been wounded over the course of Friday and Saturday.
On Saturday, stones, bottles, petrol bombs and various other projectile weapons were thrown at officers around the Woodvale area, the same place where serious disorder had also occurred on Friday.
The police officers responded by deploying a water cannon in an attempt to disperse the crowds. A spokeswoman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) confirmed that “officers were attacked by petrol bombs, fireworks, masonry, laser pens and by a whole range of weapons and missiles”. The PSNI described the unrest as “isolated serious disorder”.
The violent disorder that broke out on Saturday night remained in the north of the city rather than spreading further like it did on Friday and reportedly began around 8.30pm with order restored by 1.30am.
An estimated 30 arrests have so far been made with more expected to occur once video footage of the riots has been analysed.
The riots began when police attempted to enforce the decision not to allow a controversial Orange Order parade from passing the republican Ardoyne area, situated on the Crumlin Road in North Belfast.
Extra police officers had been deployed to Northern Ireland in order to counteract the foreseen difficulties, with 400 extra police officers from Britain as well as 600 mutual aid officers from Scotland, Wales and England being brought in to support the PSNI in diffusing tensions surrounding the Twelfth of July commemorations.