Markets

Youths attack police and cars in Belfast’s Markets

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Press Eye

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Hooded youths were photographed throwing objects at police vehicles

Youths have attacked police with bricks and other missiles, and a number of vehicles have been badly damaged during disorder in Belfast’s Markets area.

Two cars were destroyed after they were set on fire and other vehicles were damaged by fire, stones and paint.

The trouble followed the removal of material gathered by republican youths for an anti-internment bonfire.

Officers in riot gear have since been deployed to the area and number of police Land Rovers remain at the scene.

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Press Eye

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Police in riot gear have been deployed to the scene

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Press Eye

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Police responding to reports of stone throwing came under attack themselves

Bonfires are traditionally lit in some republican areas to mark the anniversary of the introduction of interment – detention without trial – on 9 August 1971.

Earlier on Monday afternoon, police said they responded to reports “of a group of young people throwing stones and damaging cars in the Stewart Street area”.

‘Mindless vandalism’

One man, who told the BBC he had been parking in the area for about a year, said he found his car burned out when he finished work.

He said police could not tell him what happened, only that they had found the car burned out.

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Press Eye

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One of the two cars destroyed in the attacks on Monday afternoon

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Sinn Féin councillor Deirdre Hargey condemned the attacks as ‘nothing short of mindless vandalism’

The man, who did not want to be identified, said he felt “frustrated” and would now have to buy a new car.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Deirdre Hargey condemned the attacks as “nothing short of mindless vandalism”.

“Both commuters and residents have been affected,” she said.

“Cars have been smashed with stones and several have been set alight.”

“Over the weekend there were a series of incidents of vandalism in the Market area.

“There is no defending this behaviour at all and it needs to stop now.”

Alliance councillor Emmet McDonough Brown also condemned the attacks.

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Smoke from the cars could be seen from Belfast Central railway station

Ms Hargey asked parents to take responsibility for their children and know where they were at all times.

“The community, both young and old, have been involved in a positive community festival over the last few days and those involved in this negative behaviour damage the good reputation of this community,” she said.

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