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Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
Officers injured in Belfast violence
Police vehicles during the disturbances
Police fired several plastic bullets at rioters
Six police officers have been injured in serious disturbances in east Belfast.

Police fired several plastic bullets at rioters during the violence on Tuesday night.

None of the officers is thought to be seriously injured.

There has been ongoing sectarian violence at the interface area for several months.

Reg Empey:
Reg Empey: "Why are republicans attacking the police?"
Army officers made safe a pipe bomb-type device reported in Bryson Street.

The remains of a second device were discovered nearby and the Army made safe a hand grenade found in the area of Clandeboye Drive.

Police investigating the Bryson Street incident appealed for anyone with information about a white car seen in the area.

A family of six live in the house at Bryson Street.

The house has been attacked several times in the past year.

The man who lives in the house said he feared for his family's safety.

"I took the grills off the front windows to get back to a bit of normality," he said.


If they are under attack, and I know there has been violence on both sides, nevertheless, why are they attacking the police?

Sir Reg Empey
Ulster Unionist

"But I will have to put them back up again - you couldn't live like that.

"Stones, bricks and bottles may be alright - but the bombs - if that had have hit here, the whole lot would have come in last night."

'Actively provoking'

There were reports that two major roads beside the Short Strand interface were blocked by rioters from both sides of the community during the trouble.

Police said missiles including petrol bombs and fireworks were thrown during the disturbances, which continued to about 0145 BST on Wednesday.

Ulster Unionist East Belfast assembly member Sir Reg Empey once again appealed to Security Minister Jane Kennedy to visit the area.

"There are people in the community actively provoking," he said.


The area was attacked with what can only be described as a barrage of pipe bombs, blast bombs and petrol bombs

Joe O'Donnell
Sinn Fein

"On the one hand, republicans are saying that they are under attack and yet in the last fortnight they have injured 32 police officers.

"If they are under attack, and I know there has been violence on both sides, nevertheless, why are they attacking the police?

"Why are they objecting to CCTV cameras going up in this area?"

'Escaped unhurt'

Both sides have blamed each other for starting the trouble.

Sinn Fein councillor Joe O'Donnell said the violence in east Belfast had "become a daily way of life".

"It started yesterday afternoon when workmen were attacked trying to repair the previous night's violence in the Clandeboye Gardens area," he said.

"They had to withdraw after consistent attacks from Cluan Place."

He said an auxiliary bishop in the Down and Connor diocese was subjected to verbal abuse and was "very nearly seriously injured".

"The violence increased in ferocity up until around 11-12 o'clock when the area was attacked with what can only be described as a barrage of pipe bombs, blast bombs and petrol bombs."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Sinn Fein's Joe O'Donnell:
"We need to bring this to some sort of closure"
Bryson Street resident:
"You can't live with pipe bombs going off"
See also:

20 Aug 02 | N Ireland
18 Aug 02 | N Ireland
18 Aug 02 | N Ireland
16 Aug 02 | N Ireland
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