Second night of Belfast riots
A second night of serious rioting has taken place in north Belfast.
Police fired six batons rounds as fighting broke out in the area around Castle Circus where 47 police officers were injured on Sunday night.
A total of fifteen officers were injured in last night's violence after loyalists gathered in Denmark st and nationalists gathered on the nearby Antrim road. Missiles including petrol bombs, stones and fireworks were thrown at police. Three were taken to hospital for treatment.
A van hijacked on Denmark st was pushed into police lines. Water cannon was deployed by the PSNI and a number of roads were closed in the area.
One person was arrested.
Police have blamed loyalists for Sunday night's violence which was described as "savage" by one police source. It was estimated that as many 350 rioters took part in the rioting which broke out following a republican march.
Concerns have now been raised as to whether an Orange Order parade due to take place at the end of the month commemorating the centenary of the signing of the anti-Home Rule covenant will pass off peacefully.
Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr said: “I am very proud of how my colleagues stood in the face of danger, working to bring this situation under control, but I am saddened and angry that again we find ourselves subject to serious violence from the communities we serve.
“Let me be clear, we have made seven arrests already and with a robust criminal justice strategy in place, there will be more.
“The community of North Belfast needs to see a resolution to this issue now.
“Collectively, we cannot afford to wait and we cannot have night after night of violence on our streets. 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.”
He said the violence had to be brought to an end.
“And the huge impact on Northern Ireland cannot be ignored. As we strive to promote our positive image, the negative effect of these violent pictures on jobs, tourism and investment cannot be underestimated. We do not want to take a backward step.
“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.”
Additional reporting: PA