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EDITIONS
Thursday, 22 August, 2002, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
Officers hurt in interface violence
Burnt out car, Albertbridge Road Belfast
Several vehicles were burnt out in the violence
At least nine police officers have been injured in another night of violence at an east Belfast interface.

Trouble broke out on the Albertbridge Road and Cluan Place area on Wednesday when police came under attack from loyalists.

Masked men threw petrol bombs at the security forces and 27 baton rounds were discharged.

Nationalist councillors from north and east Belfast are due to meet Northern Ireland ministers at Stormont on Thursday to discuss violence at interface areas.

Masked men threw petrol bombs at the security forces
Masked men threw petrol bombs at the security forces

Sinn Fein's Joe O'Donnell and Eoin O'Broin had talks with Security Minister Jane Kennedy at Castle Buildings.

Later, an SDLP delegation is to hold talks with British Government minister Des Browne as part of a series of meetings with politicians, and community leaders to try to resolve the situation.

An ambulance station in east Belfast was also forced to close because of the trouble.

Staff representative Denis Eliot said it was too dangerous for crews to stay at the Templemore Avenue depot and they transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital.

"This is the first premises that has actually had to close," he said.

"By coming across to Broadway it will make journey times longer to our patients but the staff really can't work under such conditions.

Shots fired

"I think it is high time that the community and the leaders got together and said: 'Hang on this is the 21st century, it's not a third world country we are living in, we are living in the modern day and this has to stop'."

During the violence, a bus was hijacked on the Albertbridge Road, two police vehicles were damaged in gun fire and a number of other vehicles were set on fire.

Blast bombs were reported to have been thrown.

Army technicians made safe a pipe bomb-type device in Bryson Street earlier on Wednesday.

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

Six police officers were injured in sectarian clashes in the same area of east Belfast on Tuesday night. None of them was seriously injured.

Meanwhile, police were also investigating claims shots were heard in the area of Glenbryn and the nationalist Alliance Avenue in the north of the city.

A pipe bomb exploded at the rear of Glenbryn Park while controlled explosions were carried out on three devices that were later declared hoax.

There has been continuing sectarian violence at interface areas for several months.

The government has been urged to step in and put an end to the violence.

Politicians on both sides of the divide have warned the ongoing bitter clashes will end in tragedy.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Julian O'Neill:
"The call has gone out for a re-think on security strategy"
The BBC's Karen Marshall
"This is the second night running this area has seen violence"
Denis Eliot, ambulance staff representative:
"This has got to stop"
See also:

22 Aug 02 | N Ireland
21 Aug 02 | N Ireland
20 Aug 02 | N Ireland
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