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Sunday, 11 August, 2002, 14:23 GMT 15:23 UK
Officers injured in clashes
There was trouble in east Belfast in June
There was trouble in east Belfast in June
Thirteen police officers have been injured in disturbances in east Belfast.

Two officers were seriously hurt in clashes between nationalists and loyalists in the Short Strand area on Saturday.

One officer is being treated in hospital for serious head and neck injuries after he was hit on the back of the head with a brick.

A number of petrol bombs were thrown and the police fired one plastic bullet.


I totally condemn the disgraceful but well-organised attacks on the police and challenge Sinn Fein/IRA to do likewise

Jim Rodgers
UUP councillor

Tensions at the flashpoint interface have run high throughout the summer and serious rioting in June led to a call from unionist politicians for the government to review all paramilitary ceasefires. Sinn Fein councillor Joe O'Donnell said the trouble began when nationalists in Clandeboye Gardens were attacked by Apprentice Boys.

"Upon the dispersal of a Apprentice Boys parade a large number of people including band members were allowed to enter Cluan Place area where they launched a full-scale attack on residents including children who were taking part in a summer festival," he said.

"Not only were people able to see it but we have photographic evidence of those band members being involved in those attacks on this community and we will be making that available to the Parades Commission."

Nationalist residents also claimed they were pelted with stones and bottles from the loyalist side of the peace line.

However, loyalist residents in Cluan Place said they came under sustained attack with at least five petrol bombs and a large quantity of other missiles thrown from Clandeboye Gardens.

Police said they came under what they said was a "sustained and orchestrated attack" from a crowd of about 200 nationalists when they arrived at the scene.

Blame

Loyalists said the attacks on Cluan Place continued for a couple of hours.

The area was quiet overnight, however there is an uneasy calm in the area.

The violence was condemned by Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rodgers, who said republicans started the trouble.

"Once again we have the republican movement deliberately putting out misleading statements in order to try to put the blame elsewhere," he said.

"I totally condemn the disgraceful but well-organised attacks on the police and challenge Sinn Fein/IRA to do likewise."

See also:

08 Aug 02 | N Ireland
06 Jun 02 | N Ireland
05 Jun 02 | N Ireland
04 Jun 02 | N Ireland
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