Police uninjured as explosive devices thrown in continuing Derry unrest
Police have escaped further murder bids in Derry as rioters engaged in a sixth successive night of violence in the city.
Two explosive devices were hurled at officers during the dissident republic fomented unrest in the city’s Bogside, with 74 petrol bombs also thrown.
Three men were been arrested, one on suspicion of attempted murder.
Riot police fired four baton rounds at rioters during the disturbances in the republican neighbourhood.
Many of those engaging in violence were youths, some of them of a very young age.
The latest night of disorder flared after the city hosted Twelfth of July Orange Order parades.
Members of the public were also targeted in the violence.
At one point, a hooded rioter hurled a petrol bomb at the windscreen of a van passing through the Bogside from point blank range.
The majority of the missiles were aimed at police stationed on the historic city walls overlooking the Bogside and on Fahan Street leading to the city centre.
Police Service of Northern Ireland superintendent Gordon McCalmont said his officers were subject to a “prolonged and sustained attack”.
“I am saddened, disheartened and frustrated that yet again police officers committed to keeping this local community safe have been attacked by a small number of people within it,” he said.
“It is nothing short of a miracle that officers were not injured.
“During this reckless disorder four AEP rounds were fired by my colleagues and we have arrested three males, aged 18 and 22 years old and aged approximately 50 years old.
“The 22-year-old had been arrested for attempted murder.
“While we have seen many young people involved in these attacks over the last number of nights, it is clear that this is being orchestrated by a more sinister, adult, violent dissident republican element.
“This cannot continue. This must end now.
“I am asking every community leader and every single person with influence in Derry to help us stop these attacks on police and the wider community of the city.”
It was the sixth night of violence in the area.
This week has already witnessed two dissident republican murder bids against police officers in Derry.
On Tuesday night, a volley of machine gun fire was directed at officers and on Wednesday night two pipe bombs were thrown at police. No-one was injured.
As well as police, rioters have also targeted homes in the nearby unionist Fountain estate.
Wednesday night also brought violent scenes in Belfast, with loyalists blamed for the disorder.
Masked men hijacked and torched vehicles amid anger about moves to reduce the size of two loyalist Eleventh Night bonfires.
Thousands of Orange Order members took part in Twelfth of July parades across Northern Ireland on Thursday to mark the 1690 victory of Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne. It is the biggest date in the Protestant loyal order parading calendar.
Picture: The scene on Fahan street in Derry as disorder has flared in the city for a sixth successive night, following an Orange Order parade which made its way through the city as part of the annual Twelfth of July celebrations, marking the victory of King William III’s victory over James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. (Brian Lawless/PA).Tags: anger, attack, attempted murder, Battle of the Boyne, Belfast, Bogside, bonfires, catholic, community, Derry dissident republic, devices, disorder, dissident, Eleventh Night, Explosive, explosive devices, Fahan Street, fire, Fountain estate, Gordon McCalmont, hijacked, King James II, King William of Orange, loyalists, machine gun, Masked men, officers, Orange Order, parades, petrol bombs, pipe bombs, police, Police Service of Northern Ireland, Protestant, Republic, Riot, riot police, safe, torched, Twelfth of July, uninjured, unionist, vehicles, violence, youths