Police attacked during another night of violence

Police attacked during another night of violence
  • Clock-gray 11:48
  • calendar-gray 09 April 2021

Petrol bombs, fireworks and stones have been thrown at police during another night of violence in Northern Ireland, APA reports citing BBC.

It follows rioting on Wednesday night which police said was on a scale not seen in Northern Ireland in years.

Crowds rioted on both sides of an interface between loyalist and nationalist areas in west Belfast.

Police deployed water cannon in a bid to stop the violence - the first time in six years they have done so in a riot situation.

They urged people to avoid the Springfield Road area of the city.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin have spoken over the phone and called for a calming of tensions.

The US has also appealed for calm, with the White House saying it was concerned by the violence.

Northern Ireland Justice Minister Naomi Long said it was "utterly reckless and depressing to see more violence at interface areas" on Thursday night.

"Violence achieves nothing. It brings fear and worry to the doors of local residents who deserve so much better. This needs to stop," she said.

In a tweet, the Alliance Party leader said that the violence "needs to stop before lives are lost".

"My heart goes out to those living in the area who are living with this fear and disturbance," added Mrs Long.

The Green Party has called for a special meeting of Belfast City Council to discuss "the serious violence which has occurred in our city over recent days".

Meanwhile, Ulster Unionist Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Doug Beattie said that "the sad thing is that we will all just become immune to this disgraceful, shameful behaviour".

He added that "the momentum will be hard to stop if we don't stop it now".

Colum Eastwood MP, leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), said: "This needs to stop now. There is absolutely no justification for destroying your community. Violence has never solved anything. Go home."

Earlier, Mary Lou McDonald, president of Sinn Féin, urged young people "to please leave the area and for parents to contact their children".

"There can be no repeat of last night's event, the people of our community deserve better."

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