Scotland politics

Scottish referendum: Police separate rival groups in Glasgow

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Media captionRival groups of Unionists and independence supporters are separated by police in Glasgow's George Square

Police have made six arrests after separating groups of rival Unionists and independence supporters in Glasgow.

Officers, some mounted on horses, lined up to divide a large number of people waving union jacks from a group of "Yes" supporters in George Square.

The trouble began when the Union supporters fired a flare and charged, but their numbers dwindled away later.

The square had hosted a pro-independence party ahead of Thursday's independence referendum.

BBC Scotland reporter Cameron Buttle, who was at the scene, said Friday evening's confrontation started quickly with flares being fired and a "co-ordinated" charge from the Unionist side, who were singing Rule Britannia.

Some of the pro-Union side were carrying banners featuring Loyalist imagery.

Image copyright Reuters
Image copyright Reuters
Image copyright Reuters
Image copyright Reuters
Image copyright Reuters

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said there were about 100 people in each of the two groups, and although there had been some "minor disorder" it had been dealt with by officers.

She said investigations were under way, with officers conducting inquiries which could lead to further arrests.

There have been reports on social media of a "Yes" supporter being stabbed in George Square, but police said they had no record of any incident.

Reports that the disturbance had led to a fire at the Glasgow Herald offices were also inaccurate.

On the Sunday Herald's Twitter account, the newspaper said: "There WAS a fire outside our building but no evidence linking it to unionist thugs elsewhere in city."

Another Twitter user said the fire involved the electricity generator at the Flying Duck club where he works.

"No fire at Herald office. Nearby electrical fire. Unfortunate coincidence. No major damage," he wrote.

Flares let off

George Square was closed on Friday night to traffic with local diversions in place.

A number of people draped in union jacks later left the area and began spreading on to the nearby streets, with many marching down St Vincent Place as police followed.

Roads around the square were closed as police dealt with the incident.

A large group of Union supporters later gathered in George Square again, this time at the top of the square next to Queen Street Station.

They sang Rule Britannia and a flare was let off.

Police formed a human barrier to block off the route to Buchanan Street - where scuffles also broke out - and contain people in the square.

After 21:00 the crowd scattered but smaller groups remained along with the line of police officers.

Mounted officers also remained at the scene.

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