September 12, 2005 in Nation/World

Protestant extremists riot in North Ireland

Associated Press

BELFAST, Northern Ireland – Protestant extremists attacked police and British troops for a second straight night Sunday, littering streets with rubble and burned-out vehicles in widespread violence sparked by anger over a restricted parade. More than 40 police were wounded in the mayhem.

Crowds of masked men and youths confronted police backed by British troops in dozens of hard-line Protestant districts in Belfast and several other towns. Gunmen opened fire in at least two parts of the capital Sunday night.

No one was reported shot, but shrapnel from homemade grenades wounded a half-dozen officers during clashes Sunday night with a 700-strong mob in east Belfast, raising the number of police wounded over the past 36 hours to above 40.

Chief Constable Hugh Orde, commander of Northern Ireland’s police, blamed the Orange Order – a legal brotherhood with more than 50,000 members – for inspiring the riots.

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