Eight hurt as disorder erupts in Belfast

Published Thursday, 03 January 2013
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Eight police officers have been injured during trouble which broke out in east Belfast in the wake of a flag protest.

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Police say they dealt with disorder in the vicinity of the Albertbridge Road, Castlereagh Street, Beersbridge Road and Mountpottinger Street areas on Thursday night.

They have come under attack from missiles and petrol bombs thrown from a crowd of approximately 100 people.

One officer was taken to hospital and has since been discharged.

Two people have been arrested in connection with the disorder.

Earlier police moved in to keep a distance between a crowd of nationalists who had gathered in the Short Strand area and a crowd of loyalists.

During the trouble, a car was set alight in the Templemore Avenue area and a burning barricade forced the closure of Castlereagh Street.

UTV's Marc Mallett, who was at the scene, tweeted: "Protesters have blocked Castlereagh Street with burning debris. Large crowd gathered. Heavy police presence".

A PSNI spokeswoman said: "Motorists are advised to avoid these areas". Diversions were in place.

It came after around 100 flag protesters blocked the Albertbridge Road at the junction with Templemore Avenue.

Meanwhile Malton Drive on the Upper Malone Road was closed for a time during a protest, with diversions in place at House of Sport roundabout and Finaghy Road South. The road has now re-opened.

On Wednesday night up to 300 loyalists blocked roads in Carrickfergus.

The demonstration ended peacefully after about an hour.

Last month, Belfast councillors voted to limit the number of days the Union Flag is flown over City Hall.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Paddy in Belfast wrote (470 days ago):
More pressure should be put on psni to police this crap and force this to end now. Their dealing with these scum with kid gloves. Protesters breaking law by road blocks but so are the police by standing back and allowing this to happen.SHAME
Ronan in Galway wrote (470 days ago):
Why can't these loyalists accept the democratic decision of Belfast City Hall?
Rina in co. Down wrote (470 days ago):
Ban ALL flags on ALL public buildings - problem solved. If you want to fly "your" flag, fly it up your house/ cow shed.
jimmy dee in belfastj wrote (470 days ago):
has mike nesbitt gone to another planet for new year not one word of condemnation from him someleader hes turned out to be should have stuck to newsreading
geo in carrickfergus wrote (470 days ago):
small minded republicans so you say the union is dead and all that protest are unemployed wise up see the bigger picture not what the media wants you to see i see alot of hard working protestants on the streets doing something the mp,s cant do speak for our rights to be british so get a grip
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