Dozens of police injured in Belfast clashes
Dozens of police were injured in Belfast on Friday evening after clashes broke out during protests against a rally marking the introduction of imprisonment without trial in Northern Ireland.
Some 26 police officers were injured, five requiring hospital treatment, when they were attacked with bricks, bottles and other missiles by crowds in the city centre, police said.
Two members of the public were also hurt, while a number of parked cars were set on fire. Police used water cannon and fired baton rounds to try to disperse the rioters.
"Police have come under heavy and sustained attack by crowds intent on creating disorder," Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton said.
He called on community leaders to work to reduce tensions.
Protesters had tried to block part of the route of a planned republican parade marking the introduction by British authorities of internment without trial on August 9, 1971.
It was one of the most controversial policies of The Troubles, the three decades of civil unrest between republican Catholic and pro-British Protestant communities.
There were also clashes on Thursday night at an anti-internment bonfire near Belfast city centre, when eight police officers were injured and eight people were arrested.
Last month the city was hit by several nights of rioting, predominately by pro-British loyalist groups.
The 1998 Good Friday agreement, which set up a power-sharing government between republicans and loyalists, largely ended the violence in the British-controlled province although sporadic attacks and bomb threats continue.
© 2013 AFP