World Belfast protesters hurl petrol bombs in night of 'disorder'
N Ireland sees 3rd night of unrest amid post-Brexit tensions
LONDON (AP) — Police and politicians in Northern Ireland appealed for calm on Monday after a third night of violence that saw Protestant youths start fires and pelt officers with bricks and gasoline bombs. The flareups come amid rising tensions over post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland and worsening relations between the parties in the Protestant-Catholic power-sharing Belfast government. The Police Service of Northern Ireland said officers were attacked in Londonderry on Sunday night, and there was also unrest in two pro-British unionist areas near Belfast. Police said most of those involved were teenagers.
Northern Ireland police said Sunday that Unionist protesters threw 30 petrol bombs at officers and torched cars during a night of "disorder" in a suburb of northern Belfast.
The violent clashes on Saturday evening came after protesters hurled manhole covers, masonry and petrol bombs at police late Friday in another loyalist neighbourhood and Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis appealed for calm.
North Area Commander Chief Superintendent Davy Beck in a statement released Sunday said some 30 protesters, some in masks, had gathered on Saturday evening.
Belfast in turmoil as Brexit stokes tensions in Northern Ireland
Rioters waged a running battle with police in Belfast on Thursday night -- tossing petrol bombs, setting fires and dodging jets from water cannon as a week of unrest showed no sign of letting up. Hundreds of boys and young men gathered from early evening in a western neighbourhood in the Northern Ireland capital, which has been riven by violence over Brexit and domestic politics. Masked and in hooded tops, they hurled rocks, bricks and glass bottles at police barricades where riot officers formed ranks with armoured Land Rovers.Petrol bombs burst into flames in the street and fireworks were aimed into police formations, exploding and smothering their lines in thick smoke.
Several dozen men mounted an "orchestrated attack on police", he said. A 47-year-old man was arrested and remains in custody.
There is rising discontent among unionist pro-British factions in Northern Ireland over arrangements linked to Britain's exit from the European Union.
The arrangements are aimed at preserving a fragile peace in the territory by preventing a hard border with EU member Ireland.
The protocol removes the need for customs and regulations checks on the border with Ireland by shifting checkpoints for goods arriving from mainland Britain to Northern Irish ports.
Unionists argue however that it strains ties with the rest of the UK by introducing trade barriers.
Tension has also been stoked this week by a decision not to prosecute 24 Sinn Fein party members who attended the funeral in June of Irish Republican Army figure Bobby Storey in blatant violation of Covid-19 guidelines.
Violence in Northern Ireland: a new spine in the foot of Boris Johnson .
© Reuters - Jason Cairnduff on Springfield Road While the events continue in Belfast, Northern Ireland, April 8, 2021. Prime Minister British Boris Johnson condemned a new night of violence in Northern Ireland, after demonstrators have launched Molotov cocktails and a bus was burned to Belfast on Wednesday night on Thursday, April 8th.