At least one gunshot was fired at police during serious overnight disorder in Lurgan, Co Armagh, the PSNI said Monday.
No officer was injured in the gun attack which happened while police were dealing with a security alert in the Lake Street area of Lurgan.
More than 100 petrol bombs were hurled at police cordons which came under “sustained attack” for a number of hours on Sunday night into Monday morning.
The attacks happened as police were dealing with a suspected explosive device found beside the railway line in Lurgan.
Police also said 25 paint bombs, bricks and other masonry were thrown by a “large and aggressive crowd”. No police officers or members of the public were injured. A number of police vehicles were damaged.
PSNI superintendent David Moore said the behaviour of those involved in the violence "was nothing short of disgusting".
“At one point a gunman emerged from this crowd and fired at least one shot at police. Mercifully no one was hurt,” he said.
“Local police officers and TSG (tactical support group) colleagues were on the receiving end of orchestrated, intense and prolonged violence for a number of hours last night, all while trying to keep this community safe from what is potentially an explosive device close the railway line,” added Supt Moore.
“We are extremely fortunate this morning not to be talking about officers being seriously injured simply while trying to do their job.
Supt Moore said a methodical clearance operation to dispose of the device is continuing today. “This is likely to cause disruption not only to rail travel in the area but also to the daily lives of people living close by.
“It will be necessary to evacuate a number of homes and we have already been in touch with most of the householders who will be affected by this operation,” he said.
“I would ask that those who engaged in last night’s despicable disorder to seriously consider the consequences of their actions and the impact they are having not only on their community police officers but also on their community itself.”