PSNI attacked for third night
A senior police chief in Northern Ireland has called for "all those with influence" to help bring an end to the violence in Belfast as officers came under attack during a third night of disturbances.
Police were pelted with fireworks and bricks in the Carlisle Circus area in the north of the city last night.
But the trouble was not on the scale of rioting that left more than 60 officers injured over the two previous evenings.
Police used water canon and baton rounds during serious violence on Sunday and Monday which was sparked by fresh tensions over parades.
Politicians have been urged to do more to calm the sectarian disturbances which loyalist paramilitaries have been accused of orchestrating.
And with a major loyalist parade planned for September 29TH, the Police Service of Northern Ireland assistant chief constable Will Kerr said: "Northern Ireland cannot afford an 11th hour solution.
"I urge all those with influence to urgently use it to bring a resolution to the violence and work towards a longer-term solution for the issues affecting this area."
The senior officer expressed fears that lives could be lost if the issue is not resolved.
Stormont leaders have pledged to help tackle the parade tension that surfaced after restrictions were placed on loyalist marchers who had played offensive tunes outside a Catholic church near the scene of the riots.
On Monday night 15 officers were injured during serious disorder that saw petrol bombs, stones, bottles, fireworks and rocks thrown at police lines. Three needed hospital treatment.
A van was also hijacked by rioters in Denmark Street and pushed at officers, who were forced to use water cannons and six baton rounds to disperse troublemakers.
Crowds gathered in Denmark Street again last night before further disorder broke out.
Police temporarily closed roads leading to the area and six people were arrested over the disorder which had fizzled out by midnight.
Three officers sustained minor injuries that did not require hospital treatment and water cannons were not used, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said.
It came after 47 PSNI officers were injured on Sunday night during riots linked to a republican parade nearby and a loyalist protest.
Mr Kerr praised the bravery of the police caught up in the disorder and said the violence had to be brought to an end.
Speaking about Sunday and Monday’s trouble he added: “I am very proud of how my colleagues stood in the face of danger, but I am saddened and angry that again we find ourselves subject to serious violence from the communities we serve.
“The community of North Belfast needs to see a resolution to this issue now.
“Following two nights of disorder, we have a number of police officers who are no longer available to deliver their core policing duties, protecting the communities they serve.” Mr Kerr said the trouble was also impacting as Northern Ireland as a country.
“As we strive to promote our positive image, the negative effect of these violent pictures on jobs, tourism and investment cannot be underestimated,” he added.