29/10/2001

Renewed appeals for calm as violence erupts in north Belfast

Following another weekend of violence, north Belfast SDLP Assembly Member Alban Maginness has called on the Ulster Defence Association to renew their ceasefire.

Disturbances at north Belfast flashpoints have left 23 police officers injured in an orgy of rioting on the city’s streets.

Mr Maginness said that politics could achieve much, and pleaded with the UDA to “sit down and think about what was going on.” He added: “ Somewhere in their consciousness there must be some understanding of the futility of their actions.”

He said that the people of north Belfast were deeply traumatised after 30 years of conflict and that a resumption of a ceasefire would give a breathing space to discuss the situation and map out a way forward.

Police officers called to the Limestone Road area on Sunday were attacked with a number of blast bombs as Army Bomb Disposal teams dealt with a device in North Queen Street.

A number of vehicles were set alight close to the junction of North Queen Street and the Limestone Road, as stone throwing youths attacked police officers.

Later a man was treated for shock after a blast bomb was thrown at his house at Seaview Drive off the Shore Road.

An 18-year-old Welsh soldier seriously injured in a blast bomb attack on Friday evening was said to be recovering following surgery. The injured soldier, a Royal Welch Fusilier, has regained consciousness after he and other soldiers manning a checkpoint were stoned, petrol bombed, and then blast bombed on Friday evening.

On Saturday evening violence again erupted in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne near to where the soldier was injured. Riot police prevented clashes between opposing groups of up to 400 people along the nationalist and loyalist interface. (SP)

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