UK & World News
Belfast: 56 Police Hurt In 'Mindless Anarchy'
Police have confirmed the number of officers injured during rioting in Belfast was 56.
Four officers needed hospital treatment with one being kept in after the violence overnight on Friday.
Northern Ireland's chief constable described the loyalist rioters who wrecked parts of central Belfast as indulging in mindless anarchy.
Matt Baggott said protesters attacked police with missiles, including scaffolding poles and paving stones ripped up from a main shopping district.
He warned that the "prisons would be bulging" once the police had identified and arrested those responsible.
The violence erupted in the Royal Avenue area, a usually busy commercial street close to City Hall, as more than a thousand loyalist demonstrators gathered to protest at a republican rally to mark the 42nd anniversary of the introduction of internment without trial in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
The republican parade was rerouted but some sectarian clashes still occurred as the march passed close to the loyalist protesters.
Northern Ireland's Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton had earlier said the violence had been started by "crowds intent on creating disorder."
Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers described the violence and attacks on police as "shameful".
She told Sky News: "I blame the people who came out on the streets and carried out this disgraceful violence. The UK government stands fairly and squarely behind Matt Baggott and his officers in Northern Ireland.
"If people on the streets think this is defending a cause then they are completely mistaken. This is not the way to support Britishness.
"They are not going to achieve anything from this other than a criminal record."
After a number of years of relative calm following the IRA ceasefire in the 1990s, Northern Ireland has seen increasing outbreaks of violence and sectarian protest.
Last month parts of Belfast were consumed by more rioting, predominantly loyalist, when Orangemen were banned from parading past the nationalist Ardoyne area.