Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
|Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:50 pm Post subject: Sectarian fighting in Belfast's Short Strand
|Belfast sectarian violence pre-planned by UVF, say police
Rioting broke out in the Short Strand area of the Northern Ireland capital on Monday night, with 11 shots fired and missiles thrown
Mike Browne and Shiv Malik - guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 21 June 2011
Paint is cleaned off the windows of houses on Strand Walk, Belfast, after rioting on Monday. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA
Two men are recovering from gunshot wounds after hundreds of people in Belfast were involved in sectarian violence that police believe was orchestrated by loyalist paramilitaries.
Police say 11 shots were fired during the riot on Monday, six by nationalists and five by loyalists. Two shots fired at police vehicles were being treated as attempted murder.
Petrol and smoke bombs, fireworks, bricks and stones, were thrown by an estimated 500 men in masks and crash helmets as violence broke out at about 9pm in the Lower Newtownards Road and Short Strand area of east Belfast, a mainly nationalist area. For four hours missiles were hurled at homes on both sides of the sectarian divide along the main arterial routes into Belfast's city centre. The shooting happened just before 1am.
There has also been recent concern within the UVF leadership at the potential damage from two or more criminal trials, which stem from the work of the police service's historical enquiries team into murders and other crimes committed by the UVF's north Belfast Mount Vernon unit.
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