Woman faces firearms charges after July 12 riots

Police investigating the violence surrounding the Orange Order’s July 12 parades in the North today charged a 49-year-old woman with possession of a firearm.

She was also charged with possession of ammunition in suspicious circumstances and will appear in court in Belfast tomorrow.

The woman’s arrest was part of a police investigation into violence that erupted in a number of locations, with the most serious disturbances seen in Ardoyne, north Belfast.

It is understood the charges against the woman follow police searches of a house in Ardoyne where officers recovered a gun and ammunition.

Meanwhile, officers yesterday revealed they recovered a total of 11 replica and blank firing weapons and other paramilitary items during the search of a house in the New Lodge area of north Belfast on Friday night. There were no arrests.

The search was carried out as part of an investigation into the attempted murder of three police officers at North Queen Street on the night of July 11.

A masked man opened fire on officers with a shotgun during rioting at the scene.

The majority of Orange Order parades passed off peacefully, but the height of the loyalist marching season on July 12 still has the potential to raise tensions in flashpoint areas.

More than 80 officers were injured in three days of riots last week.

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