Saturday, 12 January 2013 21:58
BELFAST: Northern Irish demonstrators loyal to Britain clashed with nationalists and police on Saturday in fresh protests against curbs on flying the British flag, leaving four officers injured, police said.
Police used water cannon and fired a plastic bullet during the clashes in Belfast, the latest to blight the British province after more than five weeks of violent disorder over the flag issue.
"Four officers have now been injured during disorder in the Castlereagh Street of east Belfast this afternoon," a police spokesman said.
"Water cannon has now been deployed. Police have fired one AEP round", the spokesman added, referring to so-called baton rounds, or rubber bullets.
Witnesses said rocks and fireworks were thrown as lines of police tried to keep loyalists the Protestant community's working-class hardcore apart from Catholic nationalists in the Short Strand area of Belfast.
Nearly 1,000 people earlier gathered outside Belfast City Hall to protest.
Northern Ireland has been swept with a ...