Five police officers hurt in violent loyalist flag protest



Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers has condemned violence on the outskirts of north Belfast at the weekend in which the offices of Alliance leader David Forde were attacked and five police officers injured.

A crowd of about 100 began attacking police with stones and bottles on Carnmoney Road at about 8pm on Friday after the PSNI dealt with a group who were removing tricolours from lamp posts. A car was set alight, a bus hijacked and the offices of Mr Ford, the Minister for Justice, were also damaged in a series of incidents across the area.

Alliance Assembly members and their offices have been the targets for loyalists angry at the decision by Belfast City Council in December to restrict the flying of the union flag.

Ms Villiers said the rioting was “totally unacceptable” and urged political action to clear the streets.

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