Riots break out at Orange parades
Riots break out at Orange parades

Trouble has erupted tonight over loyalist parades in at least thre nationalist area across the North.

Ardoyne in north Belfast has tonight seen some of the most serious clashes of recent years.

Water cannon and baton charges were used by the PSNI against protesting nationalist residents in an effort to force a parade through, and a number of injuries have been reported.

The parade is one of hundreds held today by the Protestant Orange Order to mark the 17th century victory by King William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne in County Meath.

Trouble was expected amid increasing anger at the frequency of loyalist coat-trailing parades through the area.

This morning, the outgoing ‘feeder’ parade saw loyalists provocatively wave UVF paramilitary flags. Trouble had clearly been expected for the ‘return’ parade this evening, and hundreds of riot police were deployed.

Republican youths were attacked by baton-charges and the situation quickly escalated into a full-scale riot.

The PSNI fired a number of plastic bullets, while rocks, petrol bombs and other missiles were thrown in return.

Roughly a thousand loyalists are still waiting for the route to be cleared to complete their parade. Three water cannon are currently in use on the Crumlin Road.

There have also been reports of serious trouble and injuries in Derry and Rasharkin in County Antrim.

Earlier today, a small bomb has detonated in the city of Armagh. There were no injuries and no claim of responsibility. The PSNI said the bomb exploded before British army explosives experts could defuse it.

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