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Belfast: Boris Johnson 'deeply concerned' after police attacked Belfast: Boris Johnson 'deeply concerned' after police attacked
(32 minutes later)
A bus was set alight at the Lanark Way and Shankill Road junctionA bus was set alight at the Lanark Way and Shankill Road junction
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is "deeply concerned" about scenes of violence in Northern Ireland.Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is "deeply concerned" about scenes of violence in Northern Ireland.
It comes after police were attacked and a bus hijacked and set on fire in another night of disorder in Belfast.It comes after police were attacked and a bus hijacked and set on fire in another night of disorder in Belfast.
"The way to resolve differences is through dialogue, not violence or criminality," he said."The way to resolve differences is through dialogue, not violence or criminality," he said.
The disturbances took place on both sides of an interface in the loyalist Shankill and nationalist Springfield Road areas of the city on Wednesday.The disturbances took place on both sides of an interface in the loyalist Shankill and nationalist Springfield Road areas of the city on Wednesday.
Gates set alight at the peace line between between the Shankill Road and Lanark way interface in North Belfast. Crowds of a few hundred on each side throwing petrol bombs over in both directions. pic.twitter.com/LYnRmAETTY
The BBC's Ireland correspondent Emma Vardy said crowds of a few hundred on each side were throwing petrol bombs in both directions.The BBC's Ireland correspondent Emma Vardy said crowds of a few hundred on each side were throwing petrol bombs in both directions.
The disruption has been taking place close to where a number of loyalist protesters had earlier gathered.The disruption has been taking place close to where a number of loyalist protesters had earlier gathered.
Police confirmed a vehicle was set alight at the junction of Lanark Way and the Shankill Road in the west of the city on Wednesday.Police confirmed a vehicle was set alight at the junction of Lanark Way and the Shankill Road in the west of the city on Wednesday.
I am deeply concerned by the scenes of violence in Northern Ireland, especially attacks on PSNI who are protecting the public and businesses, attacks on a bus driver and the assault of a journalist. The way to resolve differences is through dialogue, not violence or criminality.I am deeply concerned by the scenes of violence in Northern Ireland, especially attacks on PSNI who are protecting the public and businesses, attacks on a bus driver and the assault of a journalist. The way to resolve differences is through dialogue, not violence or criminality.
Police also confirmed they had received a report of an assault on a press photographer.Police also confirmed they had received a report of an assault on a press photographer.
The public has been urged to avoid the area and police have appealed for anyone with influence in the area to use it "to help restore calm".
Drone footage shows the bus fire in the Shankill area
Forty-one police officers were injured in disturbances in parts of Northern Ireland over the Easter period.Forty-one police officers were injured in disturbances in parts of Northern Ireland over the Easter period.
Drone footage shows the bus fire in the Shankill area
The Police Federation for Northern Ireland said Wednesday night's events were "shocking".The Police Federation for Northern Ireland said Wednesday night's events were "shocking".
The violence could "set our society back years", the federation said in a tweet.The violence could "set our society back years", the federation said in a tweet.
Writing on social media, PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne said "the ongoing street disorder must stop", and said he was "open to dialogue with anyone who is willing to work with me to resolve the issues facing our community".
"My message to those engaged in violence tonight is go home before someone is seriously injured. Violence is not the answer."
The ongoing street disorder must stop. I am open to dialogue with anyone who is willing to work with me to resolve the issues facing our community. My message to those engaged in violence tonight is go home before someone is seriously injured, violence is not the answer.
First Minister Arlene Foster tweeted that the violence on Wednesday was "vandalism and attempted murder" and "do not represent unionism or loyalism".First Minister Arlene Foster tweeted that the violence on Wednesday was "vandalism and attempted murder" and "do not represent unionism or loyalism".
She said the actions "only serve to take the focus off the real law breakers in Sinn Féin", and her thoughts were with the bus driver of the hijacked bus. She said the actions "only serve to take the focus off the real law breakers in Sinn Féin", and her thoughts were with the driver of the hijacked bus.
These are "real law breakers", burning buses, terrorising passengers and attacking police.Let's focus on that and getting this stopped before someone loses their life. https://t.co/dZ5UwCflzbThese are "real law breakers", burning buses, terrorising passengers and attacking police.Let's focus on that and getting this stopped before someone loses their life. https://t.co/dZ5UwCflzb
Responding, Justice Minister Naomi Long of the Alliance Party said "these are 'real law breakers', burning buses, terrorising passengers and attacking police.Responding, Justice Minister Naomi Long of the Alliance Party said "these are 'real law breakers', burning buses, terrorising passengers and attacking police.
"Let's focus on that and getting this stopped before someone loses their life.""Let's focus on that and getting this stopped before someone loses their life."
Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill described the events as "disgraceful scenes of criminality".Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill described the events as "disgraceful scenes of criminality".
In a tweet, Ms O'Neill called for "unequivocal condemnation" and said the protests should be called off, adding: "Police need support, not politicking."In a tweet, Ms O'Neill called for "unequivocal condemnation" and said the protests should be called off, adding: "Police need support, not politicking."
Ulster Unionist leader Steve Aiken said that "seeing buses burnt brings me back to the very bad old days".
"I hated seeing buses burned then, jobs lost, and ordinary people's lives ruined - how does burning a £200,000 bus help any cause, then or now?" he said.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the scenes were "very disturbing" and that "attacks on police, journalists and citizens must be condemned by all".
"There are peaceful, democratic and legal channels to address all issues and concerns. Calm and positive leadership needed from all," he said.
More footage of the bus attacked by loyalist rioters tonight in Lanark Way, west Belfast as serious disorder continues. pic.twitter.com/w4jZGU39nTMore footage of the bus attacked by loyalist rioters tonight in Lanark Way, west Belfast as serious disorder continues. pic.twitter.com/w4jZGU39nT
The attack on the press photographer, Kevin Scott from the Belfast Telegraph, took place on Cupar Way at 18:05 BST.The attack on the press photographer, Kevin Scott from the Belfast Telegraph, took place on Cupar Way at 18:05 BST.
Speaking to BBC News NI, Mr Scott said he was "annoyed and shocked to have been targeted".Speaking to BBC News NI, Mr Scott said he was "annoyed and shocked to have been targeted".
"I cover everything as fairly and impartially as possible, working at both sides of the community covering both the positive and the not so positive," he said."I cover everything as fairly and impartially as possible, working at both sides of the community covering both the positive and the not so positive," he said.
"I won't be deterred from covering stories that are important and note-worthy."I won't be deterred from covering stories that are important and note-worthy.
"I appreciate all the messages of support and offers of camera equipment that have been sent my way.""I appreciate all the messages of support and offers of camera equipment that have been sent my way."
Some damage was caused to the camera of Belfast Telegraph photo journalist Kevin ScottSome damage was caused to the camera of Belfast Telegraph photo journalist Kevin Scott
NI Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said the hijacking and attack on a bus was "sickening".NI Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said the hijacking and attack on a bus was "sickening".
"Those responsible for this and ongoing attacks on the PSNI need to stop," she tweeted."Those responsible for this and ongoing attacks on the PSNI need to stop," she tweeted.
Public transport operator, Translink, said the driver of the bus was shaken but not injured. She told the BBC: "My thoughts are with the bus driver who was caught up in this incident.
"He is understandably very shaken but thankfully he wasn't hurt, and thankfully there were no passengers on this particular bus."
A number of tyres were set on fireA number of tyres were set on fire
All east Belfast services, including the Glider buses, have been suspended. A number of Belfast services, including the Glider buses, have been suspended.
In total, 10 arrests have been made across Northern Ireland during disorder over the past week.In total, 10 arrests have been made across Northern Ireland during disorder over the past week.
The police and political parties have repeatedly called for calm, with the Easter disturbances blamed on loyalist frustrations over a Public Prosecution Service decision not to prosecute anyone who attended the large-scale funeral of republican Bobby Storey in June 2020, as well as concerns about the NI Protocol in the Brexit deal.The police and political parties have repeatedly called for calm, with the Easter disturbances blamed on loyalist frustrations over a Public Prosecution Service decision not to prosecute anyone who attended the large-scale funeral of republican Bobby Storey in June 2020, as well as concerns about the NI Protocol in the Brexit deal.
The leaders of the Democratic Unionist Party, (DUP) Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) and Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) have said the position of Chief Constable Simon Byrne is untenable over the PSNI's handling of the funeral.The leaders of the Democratic Unionist Party, (DUP) Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) and Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) have said the position of Chief Constable Simon Byrne is untenable over the PSNI's handling of the funeral.
It was attended by a number of senior Sinn Féin politicians, including the deputy first minister.It was attended by a number of senior Sinn Féin politicians, including the deputy first minister.