Belfast hit by fresh sectarian violence

Fresh trouble broke out between rival nationalist and loyalist groups tonight.

Fresh trouble broke out between rival nationalist and loyalist groups tonight.

For the second night running missiles were thrown by the rivals in the Mountpottinger and Albert Bridge areas in the east of Belfast.

Police warned motorists to steer clear of the area as both the extent of the violence and the numbers involved increased.

PSNI officers on the ground made contact with community representatives on both sides in a bid to stop the interfactional trouble.

Politicians on all sides condemned last night’s violence when missiles were thrown by rival groups in the same area.

Three police vehicles were damaged during the trouble in the Newtownards Road and Albert Bridge Road interface with the nationalist Short Strand area in east Belfast.

On that occasion police said peace was restored around 12.30am after community representatives intervened and a spokesman thanked them for their calming influence.

The trouble involved up to 60 youths at its height and continued intermittently for several hours forcing the closure of a number of roads.

The PSNI said they had not established what sparked the clash.

However, there had been an Orange Parade in the lower Newtownards Road area on Sunday morning. It passed off without incident but may have raised tensions in the interface area.

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