Paramilitary groups are behind the violent riots seen in Belfast, a police chief suggested yesterday.
Petrol bombs, bottles and bricks were thrown during scenes of disorder in the city this week.
Children as young as 13 were said to have been encouraged to join in by adults, who “stood by clapping”.
Some 55 police officers have been injured in the ongoing unrest. So far, 10 people have been arrested.
Police Service of Northern Ireland Assistant Chief Constable Jonathan Roberts said it was likely that paramilitary organisations were involved, calling the riots “pre-planned”.
He said several hundred people on each side of a barrier separating the loyalist Shankill Road and the nationalist Springfield Road in west Belfast were involved, saying petrol bombs were thrown in both directions.
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