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12/11/2001

Teenager dies during Remembrance Day rioting

A 16-year-old youth has died after a pipe bomb exploded in his hand during sectarian clashes in north Belfast.

Glen Hugh Branagh, a Protestant, from Mountcollyer Avenue, suffered serious head and arm injuries when the improvised device went off during violence in North Queen Street on Sunday November 11. A teenager and a man who were caught in the blast were also injured.

The trouble erupted when loyalists and republicans clashed after a Remembrance Day service. Sustained rioting followed the incident on Sunday afternoon, involving up to 400 people at its height. According to the police, 24 police officers and two soldiers were injured as they tried to contain the violence.

Assistant Chief Constable for Belfast Alan McQuillan said the device - which they thought was intended to be for them - exploded as the youth was about to throw it.

Widespread disorder continued in the area, with petrol, blast and paint bombs thrown, although riot police moved in to keep the factions apart.

An 11-year-old boy was treated in hospital for a leg injury, which Catholic residents said was caused by a plastic baton round.

Eight police vehicles were damaged and two cars burnt out as more than 50 petrol bombs were hurled by the rival factions.

A police spokesman confirmed that nine plastic baton rounds had been fired by officers during the violence.

An investigation into the teenager’s death has been launched by the police. (AMcE)

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