Northern Ireland

Petrol bombs thrown at police in Lurgan and Londonderry

Lurgan Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The railway line was closed in Lurgan following trouble at the Kilwilkie estate

Petrol bombs have been thrown at police officers during disturbances in Lurgan, County Armagh, and Londonderry.

Two officers were hurt in what police described as "minor public disorder" in Kilwilkie, Lurgan, on Monday afternoon. They were not seriously injured.

In Derry, police officers escaped injury when seven petrol bombs were thrown at them in Iniscarn Crescent at about 14:30 BST on Monday.

The attack was close to the scene of a dissident republican commemoration.

Railway disruption

The officers were on duty near Derry City Cemetery, where men in paramilitary-style uniforms took part in a ceremony to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Image caption Police came under attack close to Derry City Cemetery, where a dissident republican commemoration was taking place

The Lurgan disturbances led to disruption on the main Belfast to Dublin railway line, which passes through the town.

It is believed that a police vehicle was surrounded for a short time on Monday afternoon by a crowd of people near the Kilwilkie estate.

'Senseless behaviour'

There were also reports that some of the crowd attempted to place burning bins on a nearby railway crossing at Lake Street.

Northern Ireland Railways organised buses to transport train passengers to stations between Lisburn and Portadown. Cross-border rail services were also disrupted, with passengers bussed between Belfast and Newry. The railway line has now re-opened.

Police said the trouble was "a minor disturbance". Two teenagers have been charged.

Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson told BBC Northern Ireland's Good Morning Ulster that nothing would be gained by the violence.

"It became clear yesterday that grown men were standing back in areas of Lurgan and directing young children to engage in violence against the police," she said.

Image copyright Police Federation
Image caption The Police Federation released this picture of the office injured in Crumlin

Catherine Seeley, a Sinn Féin councillor, condemned the trouble. She said that she felt "angry and disappointed".

"It was reckless vandalism. I condemn it totally. Once again, it brought Lurgan into the headlines for all the wrong reasons," she said.

"It is important to note that these actions were carried out by small minority who do not command the support of the majority in Lurgan."

The Police Federation said that the officer injured in Crumlin needed five staples inserted in a head injury.

It said that its chairman, Mark Lyndsay, had spoken to the officer, who said she was "shaken" but "undeterred".

Mr Lyndsay said that Northern Ireland had moved a long way from this kind of street violence and that older people who encouraged young people to riot needed to think again.

Image caption Mark Lindsay said relationships between the public and police were crucial

"They need to take a long hard look at themselves and at what they are directing children to do," he said.

"Northern Ireland has moved on significantly in the last 40 years. Street protest and violence were commonplace way back. Politics is the way to do things now.

"Young people need to realise there is nothing to be gained by attacking police officers who are there to help them. Relationships between the public and police are crucial."

The Lurgan arrests on Monday afternoon followed overnight trouble at the same locations.

Petrol bombs were thrown at officers and a van was hijacked and set on fire at the Lake Street railway junction shortly before 04:30 BST,

There were no reports of any injuries.

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