N. Ireland rioters hurt police
LONDON, United Kingdom - Eight police officers were injured in Belfast on Thursday, January 3, after being pelted with petrol bombs in the latest violence sparked by the city council's decision not to fly the British flag all year round.
Police said one officer needed hospital treatment as around 100 loyalist protesters attacked police on the city's Albertbridge Road, Castlereagh Street and Mountpottinger Street.
Tensions have risen in the British province since councillors voted on December 3 to limit the number of days the Union Jack can fly over the City Hall to 17, outraging loyalists who believe Northern Ireland should retain strong links to Britain.
Loyalists have held protests, often violent, in several parts of Northern Ireland since the ruling.
Some 3,500 people died in the three decades of violence between Northern Irish Protestants favouring continued union with Britain, and Catholics seeking a unified Ireland.
A 1998 peace agreement largely ended the conflict, but sporadic unrest and bomb threats continue as dissident offshoots remain violently opposed to the power-sharing government in Belfast, formed of Catholic and Protestant parties. - Rappler.com