|"Orange" parade ends in violence in N. Ireland |
|www.chinaview.cn 2004-07-13 10:17:58 |
| LONDON, July 12
(Xinhuanet) -- The annual "Orange" parade ended ina rioting after hundreds of
Protestants clashed with Catholics in Northern Ireland, a police spokesman said
The clash broke out Monday evening as Protestant Orangemen marched past the Catholic Ardonyne neighborhood in celebration of a victory over
Catholics more than 300 years ago.
Hundreds of bystanders
from the two sectarian sides threw stones and bottles at each other over the
heads of parade participants and over the large number of police and British
troops who were deployed to guard the often contentious
Rioters then scuffled with police and soldiers, who
used water cannon to bring the situation under control, according to the
"Approximately 25 police officers were injured
during yesterday evening's disturbance," said the spokesman.
An Orangemen representative said it was an unprovoked
Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish
Republican Army, blamed the police and the pro-British Protestants for the
skirmish,and called on rioters to exercise restraint.
Protestants hold marches every year to celebrate a battlefield victory over the
Catholic King James II in 1690.
Until Monday's violence, this year's marching season has been largely peaceful. In recent years, the Orange marches have been the flashpoint of clashes between the Protestants and Catholics with police and British troops also coming under attack. Enditem