Orange parade forced through Ardoyne
Orange parade forced through Ardoyne

The controversial Orange Parade has been forced through Ardoyne in north Belfast after a non-violent sit-down protest was brutally forced off the road.

The protestors were clubbed and beaten by riot police and pushed from the Crumlin Road down Alliance Avenue. Water cannon and plastic bullets were fired as the situation collapsed into anarchy. A number of the protestors -- most wearing white t-shirts carrying the words “peaceful protest” -- have sustained injuries. More than 100 riot police were involved in the assault.

The parade then passed down through the Ardyone shops interface amid stone-throwing and general disorder, shielded by the PSNI. One Orangeman was reported to have been injured by a missile.

An uneasy calm has descended in the area and there are fears that rioting could resume later tonight.

Meanwhile, a number of nationalist youths have erected a blockade on the Ormeau Road, in the area of the Ormeau Bridge.

There have also been disturbances in the Albertbridge/Short Strand area in east Belfast, and in west Belfast.

In north Armagh, a train on the main Belfast to Dublin line was stopped, and trouble was also reported in Lurgan and Armagh.

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