Two boys arrested after police attacked at Northern Ireland protocol protest

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Two boys aged 12 and 15 person been arrested connected suspicion of riotous behaviour aft constabulary came nether onslaught aft a protestation against the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol successful Belfast.

Police described the scenes connected Wednesday arsenic “disgraceful”, with officers subjected to a volley of missiles and fireworks adjacent to the tract of erstwhile unit successful April. Three constabulary vehicles were damaged.

The PSNI territory commander, Darrin Jones, told BBC Good Morning Ulster nary officers had been injured but said they believed the protestation had been organised by “older people” who would person known the tract of the protestation was “a precise volatile area”.

He said: “It was precise superior arsenic astatine 1 signifier determination were up to 100 radical connected some sides of the interface attacking constabulary officers.

“I cognize everyone has a close to protestation and we person a affirmative work to facilitate protests. But there’s a clip and there’s a place: the organisers indispensable person reasonably expected what happened erstwhile the protestation was there.”

Officers were deployed from astir 5pm aft a tiny protest, involving astir 30 people, was staged adjacent Lanark Way connected the loyalist broadside of the bid wall. Disorder broke retired involving some sides of the assemblage and continued for respective hours, with wheelie bins being burned connected the roads and bottles, masonry and fireworks being thrown.

No constabulary officers were wounded but 3 vehicles were damaged, Jones said. Calm was restored to the country by astir 10.30pm, helium said.

Ch Insp Darren Fox described the scenes arsenic “totally unacceptable” and said the “disgraceful scenes of upset seen this evening enactment members of the nationalist and the responding constabulary officers successful existent information and indispensable beryllium condemned by all”.

Pat Sheehan, the Sinn Féin subordinate of the legislative assembly for westbound Belfast, condemned those who organised the anti-protocol protest, saying determination was “absolutely nary place” for “this needless violence”.

He said the protestation was a “dangerous and irresponsible stunt” that was “deliberately organised astatine this interface with the sole volition of heightening tensions and causing trouble”.

The unit comes days aft a autobus was hijacked and burned by 2 masked and equipped men successful Newtownards, a municipality eastbound of Belfast. Loyalists claimed the onslaught was to people the deadline the Democratic Unionist enactment (DUP) leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, had fixed for the Northern Ireland protocol to beryllium radically changed oregon dumped.

On Wednesday nighttime the SDLP West Belfast representative, Paul Doherty, called for a imperishable extremity to upset astatine interface areas successful the assemblage and appealed to young radical not to prosecute successful antisocial oregon unsafe behaviour.

“The young radical taking portion successful these incidents are apt to extremity up with a transgression grounds oregon worse and I would impulse them to deliberation doubly earlier they act. The unit connected the streets of westbound Belfast this evening has small to bash with Brexit. It’s astir communities that person been abandoned and led astray by their politicians.

“Our young radical are frustrated due to the fact that of the precocious levels of poverty, unemployment and acquisition underachievement successful these areas and this is what we request to beryllium focusing connected tackling,” helium said.