Steve April 4, 2021

Source: The Independent

Unionists criticised for ‘incendiary’ rhetoric as dozens of officers injured in days of unrest

Andy Gregory

2 hours ago

Leaders’ appeals for calm went unnoticed on Saturday as violence erupted in loyalist parts of Northern Ireland for yet another successive night, amid anger over Brexit and the policing of a formerly senior IRA figure’s funeral.

Three cars were hijacked and set alight in Newtownabbey, on the northern outskirts of Belfast, with the burning shells of vehicles pictured blocking the road at the Cloughfern roundabout, where a crowd gathered.

Police reportedly closed off the surrounding roads before moving in on the roundabout, where footage publicised by the Police Federation for Northern Ireland showed masked men running over to throw petrol bombs and other projectiles at an armoured police van from close range, and punching and kicking the vehicle.

It came hours after Stormont’s first minister, Arlene Foster, and the Northern Ireland secretary, Brandon Lewis, called for an end to the violence, after police said a riot involving up to 300 people at the unionist Sandy Row area in south Belfast left 15 officers injured.

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