13 charged over flag riots

13 charged over flag riots

Eleven men and two women charged over rioting in Belfast appeared before a special sitting of the city's Magistrates' Court on Saturday night.

Twelve people have been charged in connection with serious civil disturbances in the Greater Belfast area on Friday night.

Another man, arrested on Saturday afternoon, has been charged following public disorder in the Newtownards Road area of east Belfast.

Two other men also arrested earlier remain in police custody.

Meanwhile, one man has already appeared before Newtownards Magistrates' Court earlier on Saturday.

Two men have been charged with a number of offences and will appear before the same court later in January.

One man has been charged with disorderly behaviour and will appear before Belfast Magistrates' Court later this month.

Three men aged 15, 17 and 21 have been released on police bail pending further inquiries. Three men also arrested on Friday night remain in custody.

Nine police officers were injured and a total of 19 people were arrested on Friday as trouble erupted amid ongoing loyalist flag protests.

Fireworks, ball bearings, bricks and bottles were also thrown. A PSNI spokesman said crowds of up to 300 people were involved in the rioting.

Eight officers were injured, none of whom are believed to be seriously hurt. However, the PSNI confirmed that one woman police officer required medical treatment at the scene by ambulance.

The majority of the arrests were made in the Beersbridge Road area. Attempts were made in the area to hijack three vehicles.

"Water canon was deployed but was not used," a police statement said.

Three arrests were made in Dundonald after police cleared a protest in the Robbs Road area, close to the Ulster Hospital.

In Newtownabbey, bottles and bricks were thrown at police, resulting in one police officer being hurt.

The unrest, which spanned several hours, occurred in the O'Neill Road area and one person was arrested.

It was reported that an attempt was made to hijack a bus. Commercial premises were broken into by several masked men, who damaged the property and stole a sum of money.

"Police will be seeking further arrests in the coming days in relation to the disorder. Anyone with any information about any of these incidents is asked to contact their local police station on 0845 600 8000," the PSNI statement said.


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