Five officers hurt in Belfast riots

 

Five Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers were injured during a second night of serious rioting in Belfast yesterday.

PSNI officers came under sustained attack last night from a crowd estimated at 100 strong who were throwing stones, fireworks, paint and petrol bombs in the Broadway and Bog Meadows area near the M1 motorway/Westlink.

Police fired a number of baton rounds in a bid to restore calm. The disturbances came after similar scenes on Friday night, when four police vehicles were damaged.

The officers injured last night suffered head and body wounds. None of the injuries are considered life-threatening. One officer was struck on the head with an iron bar.

Police vehicles were also damaged by rioters armed with signposts, bricks and, in one instance, an axe.

A number of gas cylinders were also thrown into the road at the Broadway roundabout and a car was set alight.

A fast-food restaurant was broken into during the disturbances and significant damage was caused. Two tills from the premises were later recovered.

Police were forced to close the Stockman’s Lane off-ramp on the M1 and the Westlink at Clifton Street at around 11.40pm due to the danger of bricks and other missiles landing on the carriageway or striking passing vehicles.

Police believe a number of the rioters may have come from outside the local area and officers are appealing for the public’s help in identifying all of the individuals involved.

PA