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Northern Ireland sees three nights of violence as tensions mount

Northern Ireland sees three nights of violence as tensions mount”

Police officers were attacked with petrol bombs last night as violence erupted once again in Northern Ireland during the fifth consecutive night of disorder.

Some 27 police officers were injured on Friday night across Belfast and Derry.

Unionists argue however that it strains ties with the rest of the United Kingdom by introducing trade barriers.

Mark Lindsay, chairman of the Police Federation of Northern Ireland, said the "political atmosphere" was being used as an excuse for violence, orchestrated by banned paramilitary groups.

Sunday marked a third night of disorder in the cities of Belfast and Derry/Londonderry, where police were targeted with petrol bombs and cars hijacked and set alight.

Mr Beattie added that it was "quite clear" during the violent scenes that there were adults watching from the side of the road as the teenagers participated in the disturbances.

Main image: The scenes in Belfast on Friday night. An estimated 300 people were present during the unrest, while two boys, aged 13 and 14, were among the eight people arrested.

It was the second night in a row that trouble broke out at the Cloughfern roundabout in Newtownabbey, although the violence was not as prolonged as on Saturday night. This particular disturbance saw 15 PSNI officers sustaining injuries after they were pelted with bricks, stones, fireworks, manhole covers, flares, petrol bombs and bottles. Police confirmed one officer was left with a leg injury.

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Tension has also been stoked this week by a decision not to prosecute 24 Sinn Fein party members who attended the funeral in June of Irish Republican Army figure Bobby Storey in blatant violation of of Covid-19 guidelines.

'I would appeal to those who are taking to the streets to stop immediately, their actions are causing nothing but harm and distress to the very communities they claim they are representing'. A 47-year-old man was arrested and remains in custody.

Stormont's First Minister Arlene Foster has called for calm, urging young people "not to get drawn into disorder" and warning that violence "will not make things better".

The DUP leader said: "I know that many of our young people are hugely frustrated by the events of this last week but causing injury to police officers will not make things better".

North Area Commander Chief Superintendent Davy Beck in a statement released today said some 30 protesters, some in masks, had gathered last evening.

'I appeal to our young people not to get drawn into disorder which will lead to them having criminal convictions and blighting their lives. "There is no place for it in society", he said.

The main unionist parties have demanded the resignation of Northern Ireland's police chief over the controversy, claiming he has lost the confidence of their community.



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