Police officers hurt in Northern Ireland riots

Three police officers were shot in a night of rioting in Northern Ireland.

They were wounded by shotgun pellets when nationalists attacked officers as the traditional Protestant 11th Night celebrations were taking place across Belfast.

Other officers suffered other injuries.

None of the injuries was thought to be life-threatening.

The night of disorder came amid fears of trouble during today's July 12 commemorations.

Police presence will be high at potential flashpoint areas as thousands of Orangemen parade to mark the annual Protestant festival.

The shots were fired in the North Queen Street area, north of the city centre. There was also disorder in the Broadway area in the south west of Belfast when around 200 nationalist rioters attacked police with missiles and petrol bombs.

Police responded by firing a number of baton rounds and deploying a water cannon.

Chief Superintendent Mark Hamilton condemned the disorder and attacks on officers.

"These officers were doing their jobs, were policing their local community and have been attacked whilst doing so," he said.

"This is utterly wrong and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

"We responded to this disorder immediately and officers put themselves in danger in order to restore normal and calm to the area for the residents who live there. No-one wants a return to this type of behaviour.

"I am very grateful to those in the community who took personal risk to try and prevent disorder and help the police in very difficult circumstances.

"We have appealed for calm in the run-up to the Twelfth of July and we continue to do so.

"We would appeal to anyone with influence in the community to exert it to ensure that the next few days pass off without incident.

Police said a total of 27 officers were injured - 13 in the Broadway disturbances and 14 in North Queen Street, including the three who were shot - a woman and two men.

The acting chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, Brian Rea, condemned the incidents.

"My thoughts are first and foremost with the family and colleagues of all the officers who were injured," he said.

"This is very shocking news and the level of violence directed at police must be condemned.

"At this time I would call for calm right across the community."

Ulster Unionist MLA Basil McCrea, a member of the policing board, described last night's events as "nasty".

Mr McCrea told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It is worse than it has been for a number of years. There certainly seems to be a case where rival gangs were intent on having a go at each other, and the police were caught in the middle of all of this.

"There's an escalation in the sense that when somebody is using a firearm that is a serious turn of events.

"We have had trouble in Broadway for the last three or four nights and the concern is that it is organised by dissident republican people. It doesn't seem that is the case, although there is a lot of organisation going into it, because there were a lot of petrol bombs thrown."

He added: "The parades themselves, one hopes, will pass off peacefully. Normally they do, because there is a very large number of people out on the streets enjoying themselves.

"The problem, if it arises, usually arises in the evening when the bands are returning home and if they are in contentious areas then we might expect trouble. The danger is that that then sparks off trouble in other parts of the province."

Arts and Entertainment
arts + entsWith one of the best comic roles around, it's no wonder she rarely bothers with films
News
people
News
i100
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
News
i100
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
News
i100
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Commercial Property Solicitor - Bristol

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM A high qual...

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup