Bus petrol-bombed in Belfast after sixth night of violence and unrest
The Northern Ireland executive will meet on Thursday morning to discuss the ongoing unrest in the region after a sixth night of violence and unrest saw police attacked and a bus hijacked and set on fire in Belfast.
Along with the bus being attacked and set on fire, there were clashes between loyalists and nationalists at the peace line street that links the Shankill Road and the Springfield Road, while a press photographer was also assaulted.
Northern Ireland leaders will meet to be briefed on the violence at 10am, before the Stormont assembly is to be recalled to discuss the unrest.
New footage shows moment loyalist rioters hijack bus in west Belfast.
One man can be heard shouting, ‘Tell the driver to drive it down... where’s the driver?’
Another shouts, ‘petrol bomb it’.
Rioter in driver seat releases brake before getting off. Bus seems to have free rolled. pic.twitter.com/FHKBTw59RS
— Patricia Devlin (@trishdevlin) April 7, 2021
First Minister Arlene Foster condemned the actions, before making reference to Sinn Féin politicians attending the Bobby Storey funeral last year.
“This is not protest. This is vandalism and attempted murder,” she tweeted.
“These actions do not represent unionism or loyalism. They are an embarrassment to Northern Ireland and only serve to take the focus off the real law breakers in Sinn Féin. My thoughts are with the bus driver.”
For over an hour now petrol bombs, fireworks and rocks have been thrown over this peacewall. Crowds goading each other through the gaps. Police landrover appeared to try and ram the gates closed but two-and-fro attacks have continued. pic.twitter.com/3qBXYm6jgY
— Emma Vardy (@EmmaVardyTV) April 7, 2021
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney called for "calm and positive leadership" from all.
"Attacks on police, journalists and citizens must be condemned by all," he tweeted.
"There are peaceful, democratic and legal channels to address all issues and concerns. Calm and positive leadership needed from all."
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also condemned the violence.
"I am deeply concerned by the scenes of violence in Northern Ireland, especially attacks on PSNI who are protecting the public and businesses, attacks on a bus driver and the assault of a journalist," he wrote on Twitter.
"The way to resolve differences is through dialogue, not violence or criminality."