14 more police officers injured during night of violence in north Belfast

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Unrest in Coleraine and Belfast.

Q Radio News/PA

A further fourteen police officers have been injured during another night of unrest in parts of Northern Ireland. 

Trouble kicked off in the loyalist Tigers Bay area and nationalist New Lodge area of north Belfast shortly after 5pm. 

Petrol bombs and masonry, including roof tiles, were thrown at police. 

There was an attempt to hijack vehicles on Limestone Road and on North Queen Street, a car was hijacked, set alight and pushed towards police lines. 

Three teenagers, all aged 14, were arrested and have all been released pending further enquiries. 

Pics - photopress

Following the violence, one officer was taken to hospital after being knocked unconscious. 

The total number of PSNI officers now injured during recent disorder in Northern Ireland is 88. 

Chief Inspector Darren Fox said: "These were disgraceful scenes, which lasted until approximately 1am, that unfolded on the streets of our city last night.

"This was reckless and dangerous criminal behaviour which resulted in a number of our officers sustaining injury. 

"Thankfully, most of these injuries are not serious. However, a male officer was knocked unconscious and required hospital treatment. As you can imagine, none of our officers go out expecting to be attacked in this way.

"Again, we reiterate our message that this shameful and senseless behaviour is achieving nothing other than wrecking local communities. Residents in these areas, or indeed anywhere, do not want or deserve to experience the fear many of them will have felt in recent nights. 

“I am appealing to all those with influence to help bring this violence to an end and, to parents, guardians and community leaders, we ask that you use your influence to ensure we do not see a repeat of such disorder.

“The community can be reassured we will continue to work to keep people safe, and an investigation is underway and evidence gathered will now be reviewed and those identified will face the full rigour of the law.”  

The scene in Coleraine on Friday night where a barricade was set alight. 

There were sporadic incidents of unrest in Northern Ireland on Friday evening, with reports of a road blocked off with a barricade which was then set alight in Coleraine.

https://www.goqradio.com/belfast/news/q-radio-local-news/petrol-bombs-and-masonry-thrown-at-psni-during-three-hours-of-disorder-in-coleraine/

Loyalist leaders had urged the community not to participate in protests on Friday after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Signs posted in Lanark Way, the scene of much of the unrest of recent days, read: “We would ask all PUL (Protestant, Unionist, Loyalist) protests are postponed as a mark of respect to the Queen and the Royal Family.

“The continued opposition to the NI protocol and all other injustices against the PUL community will take place again after the period of mourning.”

Meanwhile, two men have appeared in court after being charged charged in connection with the rioting that took place in Lanark Way, west Belfast on Thursday night.

Detectives investigating the disorder have charged a 24-year-old man and a 32-year-old man with riot.

The 32-year-old was also charged with possession of a petrol bomb in suspicious circumstances.

Earlier, deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill voiced her concern that the violence of recent days will continue throughout the weekend.

The Sinn Fein vice president said: “I’m worried about the weekend ahead. We all need to be very careful and very consciously try to do all we can to prevent this happening.

“I hope and I urge all young people to not engage, do not allow yourself to be used or manipulated in any sort of way, and to stay off the streets, stay home and stay safe.”

She added: “I think there’s a strong role here for the two governments, as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement. I made that point to (Secretary of State) Brandon Lewis this morning.

“It’s really, really important that we stand shoulder to shoulder and say no to this type of criminal behaviour, and that we don’t allow our children to be sucked in by criminal gangs who are orchestrating some of what we see on our streets.”

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