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Protestant Rioters Attack Police in Northern Ireland

September 12, 2005|From Associated Press

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Hundreds of Protestants rioted for a second night in a row Sunday, attacking police and burning cars in some of the most widespread street mayhem Belfast has experienced in a decade.

Police advised drivers to avoid several working-class Protestant parts of the city, where crowds of men and youths, angered by restrictions on a parade, blocked roads and lobbed various objects at police equipped with helmets, body armor and flame-retardant jumpsuits.

Chief Constable Hugh Orde, commander of Northern Ireland's mostly Protestant police, blamed the Orange Order for the riots. The violence began Saturday when police prevented Orangemen from parading near a hard-line Catholic part of west Belfast. The Orange Order supports British rule in Northern Ireland; many Catholics want the territory to be united with Ireland.

Orde said 32 officers were wounded Saturday and early Sunday in Belfast and seven other Protestant areas. Two civilians also were injured.

Police seized a bomb-making factory and seven guns in follow-up raids Sunday.

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