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NI riots: Police use water cannon during further riots

Author : jalu
Publish Date : 2021-04-09 08:43:54
NI riots: Police use water cannon during further riots

Police deployed water cannon for the first time in six years in Northern Ireland after coming under attack in a further night of rioting in Belfast.

Crowds rioted on both sides of an interface that separates a loyalist area and a nationalist area in west Belfast on Thursday night.

Petrol bombs, fireworks and stones were again used to attack police, who have faced rising disorder since 29 March.

NI's secretary of state is set to meet political leaders later on Friday.

Brandon Lewis is in Belfast for talks after more than a week of nightly attacks on police in several areas of Northern Ireland.

Nationalists attack police on Springfield Road just up from Peace Wall interface gates
IMAGE COPYRIGHTCHARLES MCQUILLAN/GETTY IMAGES
image captionOfficers were attacked as crowds rioted close to a Belfast interface on Thursday night
The recent disorder began with petrol bombs and sporadic attacks in a number of mainly loyalist areas, but the unrest spread to a Belfast interface.

For the past two nights, officers were deployed to quell riots on either side of a so-called peace wall in the west of the city.

 

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Crowds attacked police and each other at the junctions of Lanark Way (off the mainly loyalist Shankill Road) and the mainly nationalist Springfield Road.

Police said the rioting there on Wednesday night was on a scale not seen in Northern Ireland for years.

Petrol bombs were thrown in the Springfield Road area on Thursday evening
IMAGE COPYRIGHTPACEMAKER
image captionPolice were attacked with petrol bombs in west Belfast on Thursday evening
By Thursday morning, police had confirmed 55 officers in total had been injured over the past week.

It is not yet known if any were injured in Thursday night's violence, which saw police escalate their response with the deployment of water cannon in a bid to disperse rioters.

What is behind the violence in Northern Ireland?
Timeline: How Northern Ireland's violence unfolded
Belfast rioting 'worst seen in N Ireland in years'
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin have spoken over the phone and called for a calming of tensions.

The US has also appealed for calm, with the White House saying it was concerned by the violence.

Brandon Lewis
IMAGE COPYRIGHTREBECCA BLACK/PA WIRE
image captionSecretary of State Brandon Lewis arrived in Northern Ireland on Thursday
It is understood the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Chief Constable Simon Byrne will also be on the call with Mr Lewis and political leaders on Friday.

He will provide an assessment of the latest attacks on his officers.

'Brexit not an excuse'
When the disorder began last week in loyalist areas of the Northern Ireland it was linked to a decision not to prosecute Sinn Féin leaders for breaching Covid regulations at a funeral last June and tensions over the Irish Sea border imposed as a result of the UK-EU Brexit deal.

The violence in Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey over the Easter weekend was linked to police operations targeting the South East Antrim UDA, a paramilitary group involved in organised crime.

Mr Lewis, who travelled to Belfast on Thursday, has denied that the UK government has abandoned unionists through the new Brexit arrangements.

Speaking on the BBC's Newsnight programme, Conservative MP and former NI Secretary Theresa Villiers, said that "rioting and lawlessness [has] disfigured Northern Ireland over decades".

"Brexit is not an excuse," she added.

Ireland's Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, said Dublin and Westminster will support Stormont parties in stabilising the unrest.

'Utterly reckless'
In a tweet on Thursday night, Justice Minister Naomi Long said it was "utterly reckless and depressing to see more violence at interface areas tonight".

"My heart goes out to those living in the area who are living with this fear and disturbance."


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
View original tweet on Twitter
1px transparent line
Writing on social media, Labour's shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Louise Haigh called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to "urgently rebuild trust that he has squandered in Northern Ireland".

The Green Party has called for a special meeting of Belfast City Council to be held "to discuss the serious violence which has occurred in our city over recent days".

Police deployed water cannon for the first time in six years in Northern Ireland after coming under attack in a further night of rioting in Belfast.

Crowds rioted on both sides of an interface that separates a loyalist area and a nationalist area in west Belfast on Thursday night.

Petrol bombs, fireworks and stones were again used to attack police, who have faced rising disorder since 29 March.

NI's secretary of state is set to meet political leaders later on Friday.

Brandon Lewis is in Belfast for talks after more than a week of nightly attacks on police in several areas of Northern Ireland.

Nationalists attack police on Springfield Road just up from Peace Wall interface gates
IMAGE COPYRIGHTCHARLES MCQUILLAN/GETTY IMAGES
image captionOfficers were attacked as crowds rioted close to a Belfast interface on Thursday night
The recent disorder began with petrol bombs and sporadic attacks in a number of mainly loyalist areas, but the unrest spread to a Belfast interface.

For the past two nights, officers were deployed to quell riots on either side of a so-called peace wall in the west of the city.

Crowds attacked police and each other at the junctions of Lanark Way (off the mainly loyalist Shankill Road) and the mainly nationalist Springfield Road.

Police said the rioting there on Wednesday night was on a scale not seen in Northern Ireland for years.

Petrol bombs were thrown in the Springfield Road area on Thursday evening
IMAGE COPYRIGHTPACEMAKER
image captionPolice were attacked with petrol bombs in west Belfast on Thursday evening
By Thursday morning, police had confirmed 55 officers in total had been injured over the past week.

It is not yet known if any were injured in Thursday night's violence, which saw police escalate their response with the deployment of water cannon in a bid to disperse rioters.

What is behind the violence in Northern Ireland?
Timeline: How Northern Ireland's violence unfolded
Belfast rioting 'worst seen in N Ireland in years'
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin have spoken over the phone and called for a calming of tensions.

The US has also appealed for calm, with the White House saying it was concerned by the violence.

Brandon Lewis
IMAGE COPYRIGHTREBECCA BLACK/PA WIRE
image captionSecretary of State Brandon Lewis arrived in Northern Ireland on Thursday
It is understood the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Chief Constable Simon Byrne will also be on the call with Mr Lewis and political leaders on Friday.

He will provide an assessment of the latest attacks on his officers.

'Brexit not an excuse'
When the disorder began last week in loyalist areas of the Northern Ireland it was linked to a decision not to prosecute Sinn Féin leaders for breaching Covid regulations at a funeral last June and tensions over the Irish Sea border imposed as a result of the UK-EU Brexit deal.

The violence in Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey over the Easter weekend was linked to police operations targeting the South East Antrim UDA, a paramilitary group involved in organised crime.

Mr Lewis, who travelled to Belfast on Thursday, has denied that the UK government has abandoned unionists through the new Brexit arrangements.

Speaking on the BBC's Newsnight programme, Conservative MP and former NI Secretary Theresa Villiers, said that "rioting and lawlessness [has] disfigured Northern Ireland over decades".

"Brexit is not an excuse," she added.

Ireland's Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, said Dublin and Westminster will support Stormont parties in stabilising the unrest.

'Utterly reckless'
In a tweet on Thursday night, Justice Minister Naomi Long said it was "utterly reckless and depressing to see more violence at interface areas tonight".

"My heart goes out to those living in the area who are living with this fear and disturbance."


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
View original tweet on Twitter
1px transparent line
Writing on social media, Labour's shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Louise Haigh called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to "urgently rebuild trust that he has squandered in Northern Ireland".

The Green Party has called for a special meeting of Belfast City Council to be held "to discuss the serious violence which has occurred in our city over recent days".



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