Violence at Belfast, Northern Ireland, bonfire and parade

Aug. 9, 2013 at 3:51 PM

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Loyalist protesters and police in Belfast, Northern Island, were injured at a bonfire prior to Friday's Republican parade, officials said.

After eight police officers were injured in a riot Thursday night at a Republican bonfire in Belfast's Divis neighborhood, police were braced for potential disorder during Friday's parade, and expected loyalist counter-demonstrations, through the city center, the Belfast Telegraph said.

Loyalist protesters attacked police outside a Belfast shopping center as they awaited the parade, and attempted to block a road to stop the parade, the BBC reported.

The bonfire and parade mark the anniversary of the introduction of "internment without trial" in Northern Ireland in 1971, the newspaper said.

While Republican groups mark the occasion with anti-internment gatherings, Member of Parliament Paul Maskey said bonfires need to become a thing of the past, calling the action "anti-community."

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