News   /   More   /   Politics

Unrest escalates in Northern Ireland as UK tensions resurface

Nationalist youths attack police officers in the Springfield Road area of Belfast on April 8, 2021, as disorder continued in the Northern Ireland capital following days of loyalist violence. (Photo by AFP)

Violent clashes have broken out between police and pro-British unionist protesters after a night of rioting in the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast.

The violence erupted on Thursday after hundreds of young Irish protesters gathered from early evening in a western neighborhood in Belfast, which has over the past days been the scene of unrest over Brexit and domestic politics.

Masked and in hooded tops, the protesters hurled petrol bombs and stones at riot police who in turn fired water cannons to contain the chaotic situation.

The unrest started last week in the pro-UK unionist community, where tensions are high due to new post-Brexit trade rules some feel are dividing the region from Britain.

The restrictions are to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and European Union member, Ireland, with critics saying the barriers will strain the region’s ties with the rest of the UK.

British and Irish governments as well as local political leaders have condemned the riots as dozens of people, mostly police officers, have been injured since the unrest started.

The latest incident saw a bus set on fire near the Shankill Road in Belfast, causing major disruption to many of the city's bus routes.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said they are aware of planned protests in the coming days and that they would monitor and respond to any events advertised on social media.

"I want to assure the community that over the coming days, police will be proactively working to identify all of those involved in this disorder, arresting them and where appropriate bringing them before the courts,” said PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Jonathan Roberts in a news briefing.

"Officers will continue to patrol all areas in Belfast, tackling not only disorder, but all types of criminality including burglaries, thefts, assaults and domestic abuse,” he added.

"We will continue to work with the community, political representatives and other partners to ensure we never have to witness public disorder on this scale again."

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku