female psni officer injured.

A female police officer was rushed to hospital tonight after being knocked to the ground by what was thought to be a breeze block.

The police woman was one of hundreds of officers deployed in Ardoyne in Belfast to secure the safe return of a so called feeder Orange parade to the North of the city.

Initially about 100 protesters were physically removed from the route of the marchers by police in riot gear.

Nationalist residents and protesters had sat down on the road objecting to the Orangemen processing through a catholic area where they were not welcome.

Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly who is a junior minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly claims “anti social elements” from outside Ardoyne escalated the trouble.

One Orangeman who was struck in the face with a missile as he and his colleagues passed the shops at Ardoyne said ” we respect their culture but they don’t respect ours.”

Stones, bottles, petrol bombs, masonry, tiles and iron bars all rained down on the police officers as they attempted to quell the rioting. The police responded with plastic baton rounds and water canon.

According to a police spokesperson civilians were injured with baton rounds but the extent of injuries is not known. The PSNI claim a number of their officers sustained minor injuries without going into detail.

This level of violence is consistent with that of previous years. Eamonn Mallie

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