P

olice have come under attack as violence flared during another night of sporadic disorder in parts of Northern Ireland

Petrol bombs and bricks were thrown at officers in loyalist areas in Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus on Sunday night.

It was the second night in a row that trouble broke out at the Cloughfern roundabout in Newtownabbey on the outskirts of Belfast although the violence was not as prolonged as on Saturday night.

There was also disorder in the North Road area of nearby Carrickfergus on Sunday night.

On Saturday, 30 petrol bombs were thrown at officers in Newtownabbey in what police described as an “orchestrated attack”.

Northern Ireland unrest / PA Wire

On Friday, there were violent scenes in the Sandy Row area of Belfast as well.

While in Londonderry, police have been subjected to sustained attacks across several nights in the last week in loyalist areas of the Waterside part of the city.

Some 27 police officers were injured on Friday night across Belfast and Derry.

Tensions have soared within the loyalist community in recent months over post-Brexit trading arrangements which have been claimed to have created barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Anger ramped up further last week following a controversial decision not to prosecute 24 Sinn Fein politicians for attending a large-scale republican funeral during Covid-19 restrictions.

Northern Ireland unrest / PA Wire

All the main unionist parties have demanded the resignation of PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne, claiming he has lost the confidence of their community.

Meanwhile in Co Antrim, a recent series of drug seizures against the South East Antrim UDA – a renegade faction of the main grouping – have caused particular ill-feeling towards police.

The faction is believed to have been behind some of the weekend disturbances.

Earlier on Sunday, the PSNI’s North Area Commander Chief Superintendent Davy Beck said 30 petrol bombs were thrown at officers and three cars set alight in Newtownabbey on Saturday.

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