Published Monday, 20 June 2011
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Petrol bombs, bricks, bottles and other missiles were thrown close to the Short Stand interface on Monday night, after groups of men described as wearing balaclavas and camouflage gathered in the lower Newtownards Road area.
UTV understands a number of homes on both sides have been attacked, and that a PSNI landrover was set on fire.
There are unconfirmed reports that up to five shots have been fired from the direction of St Matthew's Church, and that one man was being treated at a nearby ambulance station for bullet wounds to his ankle in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Sinn Féin councillor for the area Niall Ó'Donnghaile, who was the scene, says the violence was deliberately organised by loyalists.
"We've had upwards of 60 to 100 masked men in army fatigues and balaclavas coming down the Castlereagh Road and attacking homes in the Short Strand," he told UTV.
"They subsequently moved round to the bottom of the lower Newtownards Road, all heavily armed with bottles, bricks, fireworks and petrol bombs."
But UUP MLA for the area Michael Copeland said earlier clashes were caused by republicans.
"My understanding is that there have been ongoing attacks at this interface in both directions but yesterday evening houses in the Newtownards Road were attacked from the Short Strand," he said.
"Stones were thrown from the roofs of houses and this evening was a repeat of it. It's a very shocking sign that things are not all well."
"With the onset of summer there must a joined up approach between the PSNI and community workers in the area to stem the violence on this interface."
Alliance East Belfast MP Naomi Long says violence needs to end "before a life is lost".
"It is not fair that people living in the area are subjected to this kind of turmoil, when the vast majority just want to live their lives in peace," Ms Long said.
"Those engaging in this rioting have no respect for the local community and nothing to offer but misery. There can never be any justification for this kind of violence."
Shortly before 10pm, police confirmed they were dealing with reports of disorder in the Bryson Street area of east Belfast, after large number of people gathered. They said a number of petrol bombs had been thrown but did not report any injuries.
They said they had received earlier reports of disorder in the Castlereagh area, but the situation was brought under control.
Police have urged members of the public to avoid the area.
This is the second night of trouble in the interface area of east Belfast. Police were also called in to deal with trouble involving groups of youths in the early hours of Monday.