Northern Ireland

Orange Order applies for new parade in north Belfast

Orange Order protest Crumlin Road
Image caption The Orange Order has applied to parade along the Crumlin Road on Saturday

The Orange Order has applied to the Parades Commission to stage a parade in north Belfast on Saturday.

Part of the route would be along the Crumlin Road.

There have been five days of rioting in Northern Ireland since the order was banned from returning along a part of Crumlin Road that separates loyalist and nationalist communities on 12 July.

The Parades Commission is to issue its ruling on the proposed parade on Thursday.

The parade is to start in the Shankill area and proceed to Ligoniel Orange Hall.

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said the Orange Order had not learned any lessons from the violence over the last few days and were doing damage to community relations and themselves.

"All this application does is inflame the situation," he said.

"Tensions need to de-escalate not increase, but the Orange Order are still sending out the same confrontational messages.

"Is there anyone with sense in the Orange Order that is going to pull back from this? Where is the leadership?"

SDLP MLA Alban Maginness said the application was "unhelpful and irresponsible".

"I am calling on the Orange Order to see sense and withdraw their application," he said.

"This is particularly important given the community tensions and recent violence.

"It is time now for leadership and calm and I am calling on the Orange Order to do the right thing."

The Orange Order has not commented on its application.

Meanwhile, a further 300 mutual aid officers from other UK police services were due to arrive in Belfast on Wednesday to help the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The latest group brings the total number used over the 12 July period to 1,300.

The first group of 630 officers has already gone back to Britain. About 600 will remain in Northern Ireland when the new contingent arrives.

12-year-old arrested

Police said 35 petrol bombs were thrown and six cars burnt out in Belfast and Newtownabbey on Tuesday night.

Image caption One of the cars burnt out during disturbances in east Belfast

Among those arrested was a 12-year-old boy.

Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr said: "A 12-year-old boy was arrested on the streets of Newtownabbey at one o'clock this morning for being involved in attacking the police," he said.

"Apart from the fact of how frighteningly irresponsible it is to allow a child of that age out onto the streets at that time of the morning, to allow them to engage in a riot just beggars belief."

He said police had established a special team to investigate the rioting, to identify and arrest those taking part.

Photographer attacked

Police also came under attack after large crowds gathered on the Newtownards Road in east Belfast.

Four cars were set on fire. A French press photographer was assaulted by rioters and had his camera stolen.

A car and moped were set alight on O'Neill Road, Newtownabbey, County Antrim.

Two petrol bombs and a number of other missiles hit a police vehicle in the area, but there were no reports of any injuries.

Police also deployed water cannon for a time in the Mount Vernon area of north Belfast after petrol bombs were thrown at police. A car was set alight.

In the five nights of trouble since the trouble started, 71 police officers - 68 PSNI and three mutual aid - have been injured, 62 people have been arrested (including seven on Tuesday), 51 plastic bullets have been fired by police and at least 125 petrol bombs have been thrown at officers.

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