Police are pelted with rocks in second night of violent clashes in Belfast ahead of July 11 bonfires

Police are pelted with rocks in second night of violent clashes in Belfast ahead of July 11 bonfires that will be lit at midnight

  • Officers dressed in riot gear completed a number of searches in the Belfast area
  • It’s the second consecutive day that police have come under attack by youths
  • It comes just hours before bonfires at lit as part of the annual July 12 celebrations

Police have come under attack by youths throwing bricks and bottles for the second consecutive day in Belfast ahead of the July 11 bonfires that will be lit at midnight.

A senior officer warned on Saturday that there would be consequences for those involved in the unrest on Friday including petrol bombs being thrown.

However on Saturday afternoon, the PSNI came under attack again. Officers dressed in riot gear carried out lots of searches in the location. Assembled media were also pelted with bottles and eggs by rioters.

It comes just hours before bonfires are lit as part of the July 12 festivities by unionist and loyalist communities in Northern Ireland to mark William III’s victory at the Battle of the Boyne. 

Earlier, Chief Inspector Peter Brannigan said evidence will be gathered on those who were involved in disorder in the North Queen Street and the New Lodge Road on Friday.

For the second consecutive day police were attacked. Here youths is seen hitting a police vehicle with a metal pipe in the North Queen Street area of the New Lodge in Belfast

Police Service of Northern Ireland officers in riot gear carry out searches in the New Lodge area of Belfast,

Police Service of Northern Ireland officers in riot gear execute searches in the New Lodge area of Belfast,

A youth covering his face and holding a metal pipe during unrest in Belfast today

A youth covering his face and holding a metal pipe throughout unrest in Belfast today

‘At around 4.10pm yesterday, police came under attack by young ones who threw a number of petrol bombs across North Queen Street and on New Lodge Road,’ that he said.

‘Throughout the course of the afternoon and in to the early evening time an additional number of petrol bombs were thrown.

‘A piece of furniture was set burning on the center of North Queen Street where a number of young ones congregated.

‘It was also reported that young ones in the vicinity of Duncairn Gardens were throwing stones at houses and at passing cars.’

Mr Brannigan said reports have been received of injury to two vehicles, one on York Street and another on North Queen Street, ‘as an outcome of this senseless behaviour’.

A youth launches a plastic red cone at police on the second consecutive day of unrest in the area

A youth launches a plastic red cone at police on the second consecutive day of unrest in the area

Riot police patrolled the New Lodge area in Belfast this afternoon looking for people involved in the disorder

Riot police patrolled the New Lodge area in Belfast this afternoon trying to find people involved in the disorder

‘Damage was also reported to have been caused to a property in Hallidays Road where a window was smashed,’ that he said.

‘I wish to make a direct appeal to the young people have been involved in this reckless activity, and also to parents and guardians of young people, to please make certain you know where your young adults are and what they are doing.

‘We will deploy the necessary resources to detect and deter those responsible in a proportionate manner, and we will seek to gather evidence to bring those responsible ahead of the courts, whether through evidence-gathering or arrests at the time.

‘There will undoubtedly be consequences for anyone choosing to interact in this kind of behaviour.’

Three youths cover their faces in Belfast this afternoon and carry what appear to be metal poles in the streets

Three young ones cover their faces in Belfast today and carry what look like metal poles in the streets

He said anyone with information about what had happened should call police on 101, and quote reference number 1396 of 10/07/20.

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly has required calm in the area, and blamed the disturbances on the erection of a Loyalist bonfire ‘near an interface’.

‘The erection of this bonfire – for the very first time in eight years – is clearly an orchestrated make an effort to intimidate residents and damage long-standing community relations,’ he said.

‘We have met with multiple statutory agencies and community leaders from all sides of the city to warn them of the prospect of escalation and also to attempt to defuse this situation.

‘The people of north Belfast usually do not want this kind of activity on their streets.’ 

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