As the Belfast riots continued for the third night on Sunday, Northern Ireland authorities reported that seven more police officers had been injured in the attacks which included gas and pipe bombs, bricks, and other thrown missiles. With a total of at least 39 police officers injured in the last three days of rioting, Northern Ireland authorities have warned of extremely serious consequence for anyone involved in the rioting.
The Irish Times said that 400 police officers from England, Scotland, and Wales joined the effort to quell the rioting — adding to the 600 UK police officers that were already there to assist local law enforcement.
A special court was set up to charge any arrested rioters immediately, and nine people were charged Sunday night.
The Belfast Telegraph reported that Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Assistant Chief Constable William Kerr said that even more police officers may be coming:
“The Chief Constable has made it very, very clear we will have as many resources on the streets of Belfast for as long as it takes to protect communities and our officers across Northern Ireland.”
At least 35 people have reportedly been arrested, but some reports have suggested that the PSNI ultimately expects to charge hundreds of people.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the Belfast riots were sparked Friday when the Orange Order brotherhood annual July 12th parade was banned from entering a Catholic area. The July 12 parade celebrates the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, a key fight in the war for Protestant control over Northern Ireland.
Fighting and rioting between Catholics and Protestants has broken out over the past four years as a result of the July 12th parades, which are considered to be deliberately provocative by Catholics.
But the Orange Order didn’t want to move the event, sparking thousands of protestors to come out — including many who attacked police and even a senior Union lawmaker who called for calm.
Here is brief aerial footage of the rioting released by the Northern Ireland police:
Here’s footage which includes a discussion of the rock or thrown object that hit and knocked out Unionist politician Nigel Dodds. The report said that he may have been hit by a water cannon after he was down as well:
Here’s extensive Live Leak footage of Belfast rioters flinging rocks and other objects at police:
[Belfast Riots 2011 still photo by Sinead via Wikimedia]