32 police officers injured in Belfast riots

Associated Press
An injured police officer after being attacked by loyalist's close to the Ardoyne area of North Belfast, Northern Ireland, Friday, July 12, 2013. Protestant hardliners attacked lines of Belfast riot police Friday as Northern Ireland's annual mass marches by the Orange Order brotherhood reached a furious, chaotic end with running street battles at several urban conflict zones. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

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BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — Northern Ireland's police commander says 32 officers have been wounded and reinforcements are arriving from Britain to combat rioting by Protestant extremists inspired by the Orange Order brotherhood.

Chief Constable Matt Baggott says 400 officers from England, Scotland and Wales are being deployed Saturday on Belfast's streets to help prevent any direct Catholic-Protestant clashes a day after the Orangemen's annual July 12 parades descended into chaos in two parts of the capital.

Baggott blamed leaders of the Orange Order for encouraging mobs to try to overwhelm police lines in north Belfast, where officers blocked one small parade from passing a hostile Catholic district.

He says leaders of the anti-Catholic fraternal order behaved recklessly, incited violence and had "no plan" for controlling crowds. The rioting lasted six hours.

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