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Night of violence in Londonderry sees two arrested

Youths also threw missiles at police

A night of violence in Londonderry saw two men arrested over a hoard of firearms and children as young as 14 hurling petrol bombs at police.

Young teenagers began throwing stones from the largely nationalist Bishop Street into the loyalist Fountain estate at around 7.30pm.

The disorder in an interface area of the Northern Irish city quickly escalated, and CCTV footage showed a petrol bomb thrown into the estate, which is the last remaining mainly Protestant enclave in the city-side.

Police officers arriving on the scene were greeted by petrol bombs and other missiles hurled by masked teens. A spokesman said around 40 teenagers were involved, with 25 petrol bombs thrown in total.

Bins and rubbish were pulled onto nearby Lecky Road flyover and set alight during the unrest, blocking it off from traffic.

Investigators said the area was reported calm by midnight and that no injuries or arrests were reported.

Meanwhile, two men aged 20 and 54 were arrested during an operation in Northland Road after PSNI detectives seized firearms, ammunition and a suspected pipe bomb.

The area was sealed off for a time last night after police stopped two vehicles at around 8pm. Several homes were evacuated until 5.30am this morning as Army bomb experts made the area safe.

Chief Superintendent Stephen Cargin blasted the suspected dissident republicans responsible.

“We have seen again the blatant disregard of those individuals willing to endanger life in our community. I have nothing but praise for the officers involved in the operation” he said.                                                                                             

“Police would ask that everyone in the community continue to work with us to take weapons off our streets and put those responsible behind bars.”