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Monday, July 6, 1998 Published at 07:37 GMT 08:37 UK


Protestant violence over Drumcree

Roads in Belfast are blocked by burning barricades

Trouble has broken out in Belfast and in other towns across Northern Ireland as angry loyalists react to the blocking of the Drumcree Orange parade.


The BBC's George Eykyn reports from Belfast on the Protestant riots
Petrol bombs have been thrown at the police, who have responded by firing plastic bullets.

Police opened fire when they were attacked with petrol bombs on the edge of Belfast city centre.


[ image: Youths attack the security forces with petrol bombs and stones]
Youths attack the security forces with petrol bombs and stones
Cars were hijacked and set on fire and blazing debris spread across the Sandy Row area as disturbances intensified.

Youths spilled over into Great Victoria Street but were forced back by police when plastic bullets were fired as a response to the throwing of petrol bombs, stones and bottles.

Sporadic violence

Police fired plastic bullets in a second incident in Belfast after they were petrol bombed by crowds in the Ormeau Road.

They came under similar attack in Lisburn, Co Antrim, where a stockpile of petrol bomb making equipment was also found.

There were also reports of cars being hijacked and burned in the Caveshill area of north Belfast.

A BBC correspondent reports the police as saying they have the disturbances, all of which are in Protestant areas, under control.

A car was set on fire in Bangor, Co Down, and another vehicle in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim. There have been reports of sporadic trouble in Londonderry.

In Ballymena, Co Antrim, a lorry was hijacked and at Greyabbey, Co Down, the village police station was picketed by loyalists who then converged on the home of a member of the Parades Commission to hand in a letter of protest about the ban on Orangemen marching down the Garvaghy Road.

Arrests at Orange Hall

Meanwhile, in an incident unconnected with the loyalist violence four men and four youths were arrested on the roof of an Orange Hall outside Newry, Co Down.

A petrol bomb was recovered.





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