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Brutal Belfast Back? Riot cops counter bricks with water cannon

Hundreds of Protestant loyalist protesters clashed with riot police in Belfast on Friday to protest an upcoming Irish Republican parade through the city. Riot police were called in and were attacked by a barrage of bricks and bottles, along with other missiles. There were reports that 26 police officers were injured, five of whom were hospitalized. The disorder began in the Royal Avenue shopping district, as Protestants blocked the route Catholic Republicans planned to march along to mark the introduction of internment in Northern Ireland during the period of nationalist and sectarian conflict known as 'The Troubles.' As the parade approached from north Belfast, unrest spread as loyalist Protestants and Republicans clashed near the Protestant Shankhill road area. Owing to the clashes on Royal Avenue, the march was redirected through Belfast city center and out to West Belfast. Less than a month ago Protestants clashed with riot police after an 'Orangemen' march was not allowed to march past the Republican Ardoyne area, north of the city.

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