Northern Ireland

Police attacked with missiles in Kilkeel, County Down

Police were attacked by masked youths throwing bricks and bottles in Kilkeel, County Down, on Thursday night.

Shortly before 21:00 GMT a crowd of masked youths blocked the Scrogg Road with a burning barricade and attacked police with bricks and bottles.

About an hour later, a similar crowd blocked Newry Street with burning bins and attacked the police station with fireworks and paint bombs.

Police said calm was restored at about 23:00 GMT after a "robust operation".

Officers remained in the area throughout the night.

Firefighters were also attacked with stones in the Scrogg Road incident.

A side window in a fire engine was broken, but no personnel were injured in the attack.

Sinn Féin councillor Sean Doran condemned the attacks.

"What happened in Kilkeel on Thursday night was an orchestrated campaign by a group of people intent on causing trouble in the area," he said.

"The behaviour that took place last night isn't welcome in the Kilkeel area and indeed I have been contacted by a number of concerned parents today who are angry that their young children were put at risk by these people.

"One parent even described to me how a rocket narrowly missed striking his four-year-old daughter in the face."

SDLP assembly member Sean Rogers said: "On what should have been an enjoyable evening of Halloween celebrations, we had instead an evening which deteriorated into chaos.

"I am appalled that masked youths blocked the Scrogg Road and attacked police with bricks and bottles.

"This rioting went on for a period of two hours and could have resulted in prolonged disruption if it was not for the swift actions of the police and fire service."