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Monday, 10 June, 2002, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
Loyalist rioting 'orchestrated'
Van on fire
Vehicles were set on fire on Sunday
Overnight rioting in south Belfast in which the security forces were shot at, was orchestrated according to the police.

Up to 100 loyalists were involved in the trouble and six shots were fired at the police.

One officer is being treated for burns to his face and hands after a petrol bomb was thrown into a Land Rover.

Three people were arrested.

Trouble erupted at about 0200 BST on Monday when a masked man hijacked a van in the Donegall Pass area.

Firefighter
Firefighters were called to put out burning cars

It was set on fire and used to block the road.

People in a nearby restaurant had to run away from an angry mob, and the car of a customer was destroyed after being set on fire.

Police Land Rovers came under attack from men armed with catapults and petrol bombs as they tried to contain the violence.

As the fire service tried to deal with several burning cars the security forces cordoned off the loyalist area at both ends of the Donegall Pass.

Police later seized two crates of petrol bombs at Walnut Street.

IRA involvement denied

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams discussed the violence with Prime Minister Tony Blair at a meeting in London on Monday.

He said there was nothing to suggest the IRA was involved in orchestrating the violence.

Sunday's trouble came at the end of a weekend of violence in parts of the city.

John Reid: Secretary of State
John Reid: Concern at the "general lack of confidence" in the peace process

Meanwhile, a Church of Ireland bishop has said the church had a role to play in east Belfast.

The Right Reverend Harold Miller of the Church of Ireland said the two communities needed to understand each other.

"That wall has a devastating effect on the psychology of people," he said.

"On the other side of the wall people are almost de-personalised. They become simply the enemy.

"Somehow or other, and it is going to be a long, hard process, we have to begin to interpret the two communities to each other."

Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid said on Sunday there had been a very worrying involvement and orchestration of recent violence by paramilitaries on all sides.

He expressed concern at the "general lack of confidence" in the peace process in the province.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Richard Lister
"More barriers are being erected around Belfast to keep the two communities apart"
BBC NI's Mervyn Jess:
"Customers at a nearby restaurant were sent scurrying for cover"
See also:

10 Jun 02 | N Ireland
10 Jun 02 | N Ireland
08 Jun 02 | N Ireland
16 Apr 02 | N Ireland
05 Jun 01 | N Ireland
11 Jun 01 | N Ireland
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