Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting MBS to 80360 or you can e-mail us Click here for details »
'Mindless anarchy' of NI rioters
Loyalist rioters who left 26 police officers injured and wrecked parts of central Belfast in a night of chaotic violence linked to a republican parade were indulging in mindless anarchy, Northern Ireland's Chief Constable has said.
Protesters that attacked police with missiles, including scaffolding poles and paving stones ripped up from a main shopping district, have scarred the city's reputation, Matt Baggott added.
The region's top officer issued a challenge to politicians and community leaders to act like "statesmen" in the wake of the disorder and unequivocally condemn those responsible.
The violence erupted in the Royal Avenue area, a usually busy commercial street close to City Hall, as more than a thousand loyalist demonstrators gathered to protest at the republican rally to mark the introduction of internment without trial in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
"I know that 99%, if not more, of the population will stand with me in utterly condemning those who scarred the reputation of our beautiful city last night," he said.
"Those people had no intention of peaceful protest, they lack self respect and they lack dignity."
Mr Baggott, who warned that the "prisons would be bulging" once the police had identified and arrested those responsible, added:
"The only voices we should hear now are those unequivocally condemning the violence and supporting fully the actions of the police and the rule of law and I don't want to hear any excuses for the disgraceful scenes that took place last night, because quite frankly there aren't any."