Loyalist protesters attacked lines of Belfast riot police into the early hours of Saturday morning as Northern Ireland's annual season of Orange Order marches reached a furious end.
32 police officers were injured and 11 people were arrested over Friday night. The violence surrounded the British province's annual Orange Day parades, which celebrate a 1690 victory of Protestant William of Orange over Catholic King James of England. The celebration is often at the center of conflict between pro-Britain Protestants in the region and Catholics who wish for unification with Ireland, as was the case on Friday. Thousands of Orange Order marchers were told not to walk along a stretch of road that predominantly divides the two populations in Belfast, resulting in the riots that lasted into the night. On Saturday, the group said it was "suspending protest action."
"A total 32 police were injured in what Chief Constable Matt Baggott described as "shocking and disgraceful" violence, including head, eye and leg wounds. Another 400 reinforcements were being brought in from Britain.
Overnight, rioters had thrown petrol bombs, bricks, bottles and fireworks at police, who responded with plastic bullets and water cannon.
Nigel Dodds, a lawmaker representing North Belfast in Britain's Parliament, was released from hospital after he was hit on the head by a missile, said his party colleague Nelson McCausland."
I'm not certain what "missile" is, exactly, in this report. A rubber bullet, or petrol bomb perhaps as near as I can figure.
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