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Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-09-05

A Northern Ireland police officer was injured on Tuesday night as clashes between Catholic republicans and loyalists from the Protestant community in north Belfast broke out for a third consecutive night.

AFP - Rioters threw fireworks and other missiles at Northern Ireland police during the third night of sectarian disorder in north Belfast on Tuesday, police said.

One officer sustained a hand injury and a water cannon was moved into the Denmark Street area, although not used, as a group of around 200 people gathered at 10:00 pm (21:00 GMT).

The disturbance lasted about an hour, marking an easing in hostilities which erupted on Sunday when loyalists from the Protestant community attempted to disrupt a march by Catholic republicans.

Rioting on Sunday and Monday left more than 60 police officers injured, prompting police to fire baton rounds and use water cannons.

On all three nights, loyalists and republicans gathered in the Carlisle Circus area in the north of the city and pelted police with stones and fireworks as they tried to keep the two groups apart.

The chairman of the Northern Ireland Police Federation, Terry Spence, praised the "bravery and courage" of the frontline officers, saying it was "in stark contrast to that of the cowardly thugs responsible for trying to murder them".

Around 3,500 people died in the three decades of sectarian violence between Northern Ireland's Catholics and Protestants that largely ended with a 1998 peace agreement, though sporadic unrest and bomb threats continue.

Date created : 2012-09-05

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