Six police injured in N. Ireland rioting

July 10, 2011 12:50

BELFAST - At least six police officers were injured in Northern Ireland overnight when around 100 Protestant rioters attacked them with petrol bombs and crashed a hijacked bus into a vehicle, police said.

Police fired plastic bullets and used water cannon to control the crowd in the mainly Protestant town of Ballyclare, 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Belfast, a spokeswoman said. None of the injuries were life threatening.

The trouble started shortly before midnight after police removed flags of pro-British paramilitary groups flying ahead of the July 12 peak of the "marching season", a time of annual parades by Protestants which often trigger Catholic protests.

The July 12 parades mark the 1690 victory of Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne, which helped ensure Protestant supremacy in Ireland.

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