Belfast Flag Riots Continue for a Fifth Night
Loyalists have bombarded police with pieces of heavy masonry, petrol bombs and bricks in a fifth night of violence in east Belfast, as the loyalist dispute over flying the union flag raged on.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) responded with plastic baton rounds and water cannon to quell the trouble, which erupted after a protest rally at city hall against the council’s policy only to fly the union flag on 17 designated days.
Just like the weekend, there are conflicting claims over the origins of the violence, with local loyalists claiming they came under attack first.
At one stage, there were clashes between loyalists and nationalists at the sectarian interface close to the Short Strand at Castlereagh Street and the Albertbridge Road earlier on Monday evening. Barricades were also set alight on the lower Newtownards Road while golf balls and petrol bombs were hurled at PSNI riot squad officers. Police also received reports of an attempted car hijacking in the Templemore Avenue area and an attempted lorry hijacking in the Albertbridge Road area.
Four people - two men and two women - were arrested on Monday, bringing the numbers detained connected to disorder since the protest began last month to more than 100.
Earlier, petrol bombs were thrown at police lines further into east Belfast at Dundonald on the Newtownards Road. A car was also set alight in the same area.