Cars ignited in Belfast protests despite appeals

Pro-British loyalist militants in Northern Ireland said on Friday there had been a "spectacular collective failure" to understand their anger over Brexit and other issues as there was some respite in street clashes following a week of riots.

Despite appeals for calm from London, Dublin and Washington, the nightly unrest in pro-British areas spread further into Irish nationalist parts of Belfast on Thursday (April 8), where police responded to petrol bomb and stone attacks with water cannon.

A number of loyalist protests planned for Friday night were postponed in what posters put up in pro-British areas said was a mark of respect for Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family following the death of her husband, Prince Philip.

However some masked individuals threw bricks and missiles at police in a loyalist area of Belfast where television footage showed a British Union Jack flying on a flagpole nearby.

The clashes have been some of the worst violence in Northern Ireland in years and have raised concern about the 1998 peace accord that largely ended three decades of sectarian and political bloodshed during which 3,600 people were killed.

The Loyalist Communities Council (LCC), which says it speaks for the Ulster Volunteer Force, Red Hand Commando and Ulster Defence Association militant groups, said it was not involved in the riots and it called for calm.

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