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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 August 2005, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Hundreds clash during city riot
The aftermath of hours of rioting
The aftermath of hours of rioting in the area
About 400 nationalists and loyalists have clashed during several hours of rioting in east Belfast.

The violence erupted in Cluan Place and Clandeboye Gardens at about 1800 BST on Saturday. The police said bottles and bricks were thrown. One man was hurt.

Up to five shots were heard during the rioting. Army technical officers made safe a suspect device found in Clandeboye Gardens at about 0130 BST.

As they left, bottles were thrown at police vehicles. One man was arrested.

The injured man was treated in hospital for a head wound.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokeswoman said about 200 members from each side were involved in the rioting.

Some politicians said simmering tensions in the area appeared to have boiled over following a band parade on the Newtownards Road and the Old Firm football match between Celtic and Rangers.

Loyalists and nationalists are separated by a so-called peace wall
Loyalists and nationalists are separated by a so-called peace wall

Ulster Unionist assembly member Michael Copeland said Cluan Place came under attack.

He said he was concerned that the Army were not deployed to help the police deal with the situation.

"I feel a certain degree of sympathy for some of the police officers on the ground but anyone who looked at the potentiality of yesterday evening could have fairly easily predicted what might happen.

"And sometimes when you predict what might happen you can put resources in place on both sides to prevent it happening," Mr Copeland said.

Sinn Fein's Debra Devenney said the Short Strand had been under attack from loyalists for the past week.

Calm restored

"This cannot be allowed to escalate, people cannot live like this. They don't deserve to live like this and it needs to be resolved," she said.

"I would urge unionist politicians to contact me, try to work something out, that we can get some sort of a settlement here that people don't have to go through this."

The SDLP's Alasdair McDonnell condemned what he said was "mindless sectarian violence".

"It is incredibly fortunate that many people were not seriously injured or worse during what was hours of concentrated and hate-filled rioting."

The police said calm was restored to the area at 0230 BST after community leaders from both sides intervened.


SEE ALSO:
Officers injured in Belfast riot
05 Aug 05 |  Northern Ireland


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