Belfast riots continue for sixth night

Belfast flag riots have continued for sixth successive night.

Violent protests in the Northern Ireland capital of Belfast over the Union flag controversy have continued for a sixth straight night.

Loyalists protesters continued their violent demonstrations in east Belfast on Tuesday for the sixth consecutive night over the decision to stop flying the Union flag above Belfast City Hall all year round.

Protesters attacked Northern Ireland police with petrol bombs, fireworks, bottles, bricks and stones during another night of disorder in the capital Belfast.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said “calm has now been restored” to Templemore Avenue, off the Lower Newtownards Road, eastern Belfast.

Police officers fired baton rounds and deployed water cannon on protesters during the fifth night of unrest.

The pro-British loyalists’ riots began after local councilors decided on December 3 that the British flag should be flying over the Belfast City Hall only for 17 designated days rather than all year round, as was formerly the norm.

The decision has led to a wave of persisting violence by pro-British unionists who want no limitation on flying the Union Jack over the building.

More than one hundred arrests have been made, and dozens of police officers have been injured since the unrest began.

The union flag has been flown at Belfast City Hall on January 9 for the first time since a decision not to display it sparked protests. The move marks the Duchess of Cambridge’s 31st birthday.

The cost of policing the Belfast protests over the union flag is reported to have reached over £7 million.

SSM/HE