Rioters in west Belfast blasted with water cannon

Rioters in west Belfast have been blasted with a water cannon by police, as unrest stirred on the streets of Northern Ireland once more.

Stones and fireworks were thrown at police by gangs of youths gathered on the nationalist Springfield Road, close to where last night’s riots took place.

Those involved were warned by police to “disperse immediately or the water cannon will be used”.

However, those present continued to fire missiles at police and after several warnings, the water cannon deployed.

Some of those present jeered before fleeing as the water jet came closer.

A heavy police presence was in operation tonight, with water cannon, police dogs and the riot squad in place in a bid to quell another night of unrest in the area.

PSNI officers were seen holding riot shields and being pelted with missiles before causing the youths to flee by charging at them with dogs.

Read more:
NI Secretary condemns violence, says there’s no excuse
Taoiseach and British PM call for calm in NI
Belfast violence of a scale not seen in recent years – PSNI

Northern Ireland Justice Minister Naomi Long has issued a fresh call for calm after what she called “depressing and reckless” scenes.

She tweeted: “More attacks on police, this time from nationalist youths. Utterly reckless and depressing to see more violence at interface areas tonight.

“My heart goes out to those living in the area who are living with this fear and disturbance. This needs to stop now before lives are lost.” 

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